According to the agency, affected truck drivers have 30 days to be medically re-certified
An estimated 2000+ commercial truck drivers are operating big rigs on the nations highways without proper medical certification. This is due to the failure of an Alabama chiropractor to properly perform tests prior to certification over the past two years.
On March 22. 2018 the federal government said it would revoke the medical certificates of Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, who had been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to perform medical exams. Dr. Edwards was charged in late February by a federal grand jury with conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements, and falsification of federal records, according to the FMCSA. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) determined that Edwards “exhibited a pattern whereby examinations were incomplete, required tests were not performed and information on medical examinations were falsified,” the FMCSA said in a statement.
Also indicted were two of his employees, Joann Bush and Andrea Daigle, who worked in the Phenix City, Ala. office. The indictment alleges that Edwards and his employees collaborated to submit false documents to the DOT. Each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Although most of the affected truck drivers reside in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, they may be domiciled anywhere and operating in every state in the U.S., Duane DeBruyne, an FMCSA spokesperson said. FMCSA is working in conjunction with state licensing agencies to locate and contact all of the drivers, who will have 30 days from notification letters being mailed to obtain a certificate from a DOT certified medical examiner.
Independent truckers who spend most of their lives on the road will be difficult to contact and will have limited available time to schedule medical tests. The restrictive time frame they have for re-certification could prove to be burdensome for a great many of them.
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders are required by law to be examined and cleared every two years or less to keep their licenses. Only trained and certified professionals listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners are permitted to conduct the federally sanctioned physical exams.
In many states, licensing boards permit chiropractors to perform the screening tests as long they are registered on the national registry and meet other criteria. Dr. Edwards name was removed from the registry last Dec. 5 by FMCSA.
Until all of the affected drivers are contacted and re-examination takes place, there should be justified concern regarding how many are on the road knowing, or not knowing, about a physical condition that puts the public at risk. Vision and hearing impairment, hypertension and diabetes are only a few of the many risk factors that could have gone un-checked.
Vititoe Law Group is a truck accident law firm deeply committed to U.S. road and highway safety. Drivers of commercial vehicles all share the responsibility of safe operation. This includes being physically and mentally fit to perform their duties safely, not only when behind the wheel but when securing their loads or properly inspecting and maintaining their vehicles.
If you, or someone you care about, were injured in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, contact a qualified truck accident attorney at Vititoe Law Group for a free evaluation of you case. You may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation.