Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration releasing its final rule for the much-anticipated National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, which includes doctors of chiropractic among the health care providers eligible to provide commercial driver's license (CDL) physicals beginning April 2014, California law needed an update.
"To comply with federal regulations, we're going to need thousands of certified examiners in California alone," said Lowenthal, who chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee, in a Aug. 27 press release posted on her website. "AB 722 will help fill the gap, allowing bus drivers better access to trained and qualified medical examiners in communities across the state."
According to an analysis of the bill, "In 1992, federal guidelines were modified to allow a licensed physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or chiropractor to perform physical examinations on commercial vehicle drivers. Several years later, inconsistencies in the vehicle code pertaining to these federal regulations were uncovered which, as a result, prohibited these professions from conducting physical examinations on this category of commercial drivers. DMV then modified its physical examination forms and examiner guidelines so that only medical doctors could carry out specific driver exams for school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, general public paratransit vehicles, and farm laborer vehicles.
"Over time, state law has been amended to allow chiropractors to perform physical examinations on all other categories of commercial drivers including trucks, public transit vehicles, and ambulances. State law was further amended to allow chiropractors to perform physical [exams] on school bus drivers 65 years of age or older. As a result, school bus drivers under 65 years of age are the last remaining group of drivers which are prohibited from receiving a physical [exam] from chiropractors."
For more information on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, please visit https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/.