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Report: Fake Trucker Exams Compromise Safety

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on September 30, 2010 12:38 PM

Truck drivers are required to pass a medical exam and carry a certificate certifying that the trucker is medically safe to drive. The long hours and late nights on the highway are a breeding ground for exacerbating existing medical conditions, and requiring an annual medical check-up is intended to help combat some potential problems and accidents. According to a new report covered by MSNBC, there is a rise in fake trucker exams which is serving to compromise safety for everyone on the road.

The problem with medically unqualified truck drivers is simple -- driving a large commercial vehicle without the medical facilities to do so can have deadly consequences. The report notes that in the past five years, 902,416 citations have been issued to truckers that did not hold the proper medical documentation. Rather than schedule an appointment with a doctor, many truckers are faking their exams.

Pop-up medical check-up stations and forged exams are on the rise. Doctors and drivers can create and use their own forms. The only way to track whose signature and information is on the form is to call the number listed. There is no way to check whether the form is authentic. Neither is there a registry to track who is giving the exams or what the results are. If one doctor fails a driver, the driver can go from doctor to doctor until he finds one who will certify him.

The vast majority of truckers that are caught without medical certification are given a citation and allowed to continue driving. Increased enforcement and putting a national data tracking system in place are two ideas the Department of Safety feels will help combat the problem. In the meantime, implementing a uniform medical certificate card would also be a viable solution, as law enforcement often have a hard time determining whether a certificate is valid.

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