Your Government (and the ADA) at Work

If I may, I’d like to spend the next couple of blog posts talking about recent announcements from U.S. government organizations, that have a significant impact on People With Diabetes. A good impact.

The first announcement is from the American Diabetes Association (not a government organization), which announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has announced it has changed its rules. For the first time ever, People With Diabetes who inject insulin can be certified to drive commercial vehicles.

For the past 15 years or so, Drivers on Insulin (that should be on a T-shirt) had to get an exemption to be certified to drive tractor trailers, buses, and construction vehicles. Prior to 2003, if you were using insulin to manage your diabetes, you could not be certified to drive under any circumstances.

Today, there are still requirements a driver has to meet, but there is no special exemption to get, and the rules are much more reasonable. I invite you to look at the filing in the Federal Register, especially parts J, K, and L, to see the kind of discussions that took place and the final decisions on what constitutes a qualified driver with diabetes and how the FMCSA took everyone’s concerns into consideration when making a final decision.

Kudos to the American Diabetes Association for helping to push this over the finish line.

You know, I’ve only been writing here for 6 1/2 years, but I don’t think the language used in this filing is something that would have even been considered back then. That’s how fast things are moving in our world of advocacy.

In today’s world, #LanguageMatters, and this is living proof.

Personally, I always had an idea in the back of my mind that once I retired, I would get a part-time job as one of those guys at the airport who drove people from their parking lot to the terminal, and back again. I’ve always loved travel, and this would somehow bring me closer to it.

It’s not necessarily what I’d look forward to in my golden years, but it’s nice to know that now, if I wanted to, I could do it.

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Comments

  • Rick Phillips  On September 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I am both excited and frightened by this turn. I was in charge of school buses and of course had to not hire or discharge people who used insulin and were drivers. it was a hard and fast rule.

    Instead we now have a a sanction for using insulin and driving. I fear kids could be put in danger because it only takes one low.

    On the other hand I am thrilled. More options for our community is a wonderful thing. Even if I might have chosen not to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • StephenS  On September 25, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Rick, I understand your concerns. Just asking: would you feel better knowing if a driver was wearing a CGM full time, and they wouldn’t be penalized for taking extra time to treat a low? I realize not everyone is perfect… but neither is anyone’s diabetes. I hope those kind of details can be worked out as we move forward.

      Like

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