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States Could Lose Highway Funds

nssgaJanuary 4, 2012 – According to NSSGA, a Jan. 30 deadline looms for states to implement a federal regulation whereby DMVs require interstate truck drivers to provide proof from a medical professional that they are healthy enough to drive. States failing to comply face a 5 percent cut in their federal highway funds with that penalty doubling if they do not come into conformance the following year.  One-third of states have indicated they may not meet this mandate, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  States in violation as of Feb. 1 must submit a plan demonstrating "an earnest intent to gain full compliance" on an acceptable timeline or else federal funds could be withheld beginning Oct. 1, 2014. While there is no public list of these states, state officials from Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma have confirmed they will not be able to comply before the deadline.  Missouri could face a cut of $30 million in funding under this mandate while Oklahoma could lose $20 million. The federal government already requires interstate truck drivers to receive medical approval from a doctor and carry a medical card with them on the job along with their licenses.  Under the new federal requirement, truck drivers must submit their medical approval forms to state licensing offices, which will then enter the information into a nationwide database so they will no longer have to carry a medical card. The card-carrying requirement will be in effect until Jan. 30, 2014, due to states’ lag in implementing the new mandate. NSSGA says it will continue to follow this mandate and keep members informed of developments.