Trump stalls sleep reg for drivers, rail workers

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who has pledged to drastically slash federal regulations, has sounded the death knell for a regulation to require sleep apnea screening for commercial drivers and rail workers, according to news reports. The Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said late last week that they are scraping the regulation, arguing that it should be up to trucking and railroad companies to decide whether or not to screen their employees. Last year, however, the agencies announced a proposal to require screening for commercial drivers and railroad workers, and sought public input. Deadly rail crashes in New York City and New Jersey, as well as several highway crashes, have brought the issue to the forefront. In the Metro-North train crash in 2013, the engineer fell asleep at the controls because he had a severe, undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. In the New Jersey Transit train crash in September, the engineer also suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea.