Senate Democrats are questioning the Trump administration over its recent decision to abandon an Obama-era plan requiring all truck, train and bus operators to be screened for sleep apnea.
In a letter to the Department of Transportation, a group of lawmakers asked the agency to explain why it withdrew from the safety effort and requested copies of “all data and information” that were used to make the decision.
The senators pointed to several deadly crashes that were linked to undiagnosed sleep apnea and urged the administration to reconsider ending the proposal. At a minimum, they want to see a new plan to ensure and increase safety.
“The 2016 proposed rule consisted of a modest, common-sense approach to combating fatigue on our roads and rails: require testing for obstructive sleep apnea if a problematic symptom is observed,” the lawmakers wrote. “We strongly believe that DOT should immediately reconsider the decision in order to help avoid future fatigue-related tragedies.”
The letter is signed by Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).
The Federal Railroad Administration issued a safety advisory last fall urging railroads to screen and treat workers for obstructive sleep apnea amid growing concern that the condition can cause workers to fall asleep on the job.