Deep Sleep: DOT Pulls Proposed Rule to Require Apnea Testing for Drivers, Railroad Engineers

The Transportation Department isn’t going to test truck and bus drivers and railroad engineers for sleep apnea after all.

The DOT pulled the proposed testing rule last week, acknowledging the risk that sleep apnea presents but saying that existing safety programs are adequate.

It’s estimated that more than 25 million Americans suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea. The disorder results in reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep.

The federal government requires testing of airline pilots for the condition, which disrupts sleep and contributes to drowsiness during the day.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, which sought input last year on a proposed rule to require apnea testing, announced on Aug. 4 that it was pulling the rule.

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