Aug. 08–U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer demanded Tuesday that federal agencies continue to develop rules that would have required sleep apnea screening for rail workers and commercial truck drivers, after the Trump administration withdrew the proposed rules last week.
On Friday, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said they would withdraw a rulemaking process that would have paved the way for required sleep apnea screening and treatment for rail workers and commercial truck drivers nationwide. The agencies said current rules and programs address the issue and they will continue to encourage voluntary testing.
The rule was proposed by the Obama administration last year. They were developed in the aftermath of a fatal train crash in the Bronx in 2013 that killed a Newburgh woman and three others and injured 61 people.
“It doesn’t take Albert Einstein to understand why it is so important to begin the process of requiring sleep apnea testing across-the-board and at the federal level,” Schumer said in a release. “We don’t want train engineers with undiagnosed sleep apnea, who actually hold lives in their hands, to fall asleep at the switch and we don’t want big-rig drivers to doze off at the wheel.”
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