The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a US Department of Transportation (DOT) agency that regulates the trucking industry, is reviewing a petition from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) that wants to end requirements for deaf truck drivers that they be able to pass a medical exam demonstrating their ability to hear and prohibits them from using interpreters on tests, according to an article on the Transport Topics website.

According to the article, NAD, which has been pursuing the changes since 2017, alleges that the hearing requirements were put into place at a “time of misguided stereotypes about the abilities and inabilities of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.”

Deaf drivers who are unable to pass the hearing test, can seek an exemption from the FMCSA; according to the article, more than 450 deaf drivers with good driving records have been granted 5-year exemptions.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) filed a comment in response to potentially changing the regulations, which was excerpted in the article:

While ATA believes the National Association of Deaf petition has merit, there are several concerns that FMCSA must address before any consideration to eliminate the hearing requirement for commercial motor vehicle operators. These concerns involve a commercial driver license training, regulatory compliance, workplace safety, advisory board opposition, the lack of data currently available to assess crash risk, and employers’ ability to make an individual assessment of driver applicants.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: Transport Topics