Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Be more than a barking dog on the sleep apnea issue

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration continue to take steps toward making a rule regarding sleep apnea, several Land Line readers have been voicing their opposition via online comments that accompany each story.

Many drivers out there believe any sleep apnea regulation would be based more on the money it would generate to the sleep industry than safety and that the hours-of-service regulation deserves much of the blame for fatigued drivers.

These comments have merit and deserve to be heard beyond a story comment section or a Facebook post.

When the FMCSA and FRA released the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in March, a 90-day comment period was opened. The agencies say they are seeking comment on the costs and benefits of requiring motor carrier and rail transportation workers who exhibit multiple risk factors for sleep apnea to undergo evaluation and treatment by a health care professional with expertise in sleep disorders.

That’s why one of our readers’ comments on Land Line’s story titled "Truckers encouraged to give their two cents on sleep apnea proposal" stood out to me.

“If you haven’t posted on the noted site, you’re just a barking dog,” the reader wrote.

The time is now for those concerned about a prospective sleep apnea regulation to speak out.

Comments can be submitted at the Regulations.Gov website or by mailing Docket Services, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001. You are asked to identify whether you are in the transportation industry or medical profession, but you can choose to remain anonymous.

If you have any more questions about how to make a comment, check out this informative article by Jami Jones about how to navigate the process.

When providing comments, keep in mind the questions provided in the notice and do your best to stay on point and remain professional.

But most importantly, make sure you’re not just a barking dog.