The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

NTSB Targets Medical Oversight of Non-commercial Drivers

December 06, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has begun formally issuing its recommendations on improving the medical oversight of non-commercial drivers. According to Land Line Magazine, non-commercial drivers and the medical conditions that can impair driving took the limelight in a special investigation conducted by the NTSB. Conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease as well as many more were singled out as having some impact on a driver´s ability to drive safely and effectively. The investigation revealed that issues encompassing the medical oversight of noncommercial drivers are complex and that it would require close cooperation of federal, state, and private organizations to create an effective and uniform system that protects public safety while being sensitive to the needs of individual drivers. One of the recently issued recommendations was addressed to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. It stressed the need to develop a training program to help police officers identify common medical conditions that can impair a driver´s ability to operate a vehicle and then promote the training to all officers, new and veteran. Two recommendations tackled the physicians´ roles in improving the oversight. The NTSB recommended ensuring that continuing medical education requirements in all states include a course addressing the driving risks associated with certain medical conditions and medications, as well as the existence and function of state reporting laws and procedures regarding medically impaired drivers. The NTSB issued another recommendation concerning the need for licensing agencies to determine current and previous medically related actions on a driver´s license, as well as any current medically related restrictions.
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