On Sept. 28, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced S. 1883, a bill that would require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, to publish a final rule requiring the “screening, testing, and treatment” of sleep disorders for commercial vehicle operators. This bill has been sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for consideration.
Sen. Booker is joined in support of this measure by the remaining Senate Democrats from New York and New Jersey: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). A companion House of Representatives bill was also introduced by two of New Jersey’s House Democrats: Reps. Bill Pascrell and Albio Sires.
The introduction of the bill is in response to the decision in August by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration to withdraw proposed rulemaking concerning OSA among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation. Supporters of this bill aim to reduce the impact of “drowsy driving,” which received great attention after last year’s high profile train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey, which killed one and injured more than 100 other commuters.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine calls upon its members to advocate on behalf of drivers and commuters to ensure that commercial drivers and train operators are screened, diagnosed, and treated for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea.
The new AASM advocacy portal enables you to show your support for sleep screening and public safety by reaching out to the U.S. Department of Transportation with unprecedented convenience and ease. You can Take Action today by quickly and easily sending a letter to U.S. regulators, urging them to reconsider rulemaking on OSA screening for commercial truck drivers and railroad operators.
Overhead photograph of the damaged controlling cab car following the accident. A beam in from the station is shown in the front portion of the car. Taken on October 5, 2016. (National Transportation Safety Board)