National Registry Takes the Wheel - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

National Registry Takes the Wheel

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As the demand for the shipment of goods in and out of North Dakota increases, so does the need for commercial truck drivers. But there's still a concern for safety.

The National Registry says if you're a commercial truck driver and your medical certificate expired on or after May 21, you now have to be examined by a medical professional who is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Commercial trucks are everywhere we look, so it's crucial the drivers behind the wheels of those 40-ton vehicles are healthy.

"I'm a firm believer in that all drivers need to be safe on the roads," says truck driver Glenn Wiest. 

The new tests will need to be performed by medical examiners who have gone through special training and who have successfully passed a test on physical qualifications of drivers.

"We have to go through a nine hour training course so that we're up-to-date on the regulations. And with this new education, we're aware of some of these standards and are now providing what we feel is a better examination of commercial motor vehicle standards," says Dr. Joel Blanchard of Sanford Health.

Doctors say the tests are new, but they're still pretty standard.

Their blood pressure is ok, that their pulse is regular, and that they don't have any significant medical conditions that could make them be in such a state that they could suddenly lose control of their commercial motor vehicle.

Wiest won't have to get certified by a listed medical professional until next year, but he says the tests he's taken in the past are a piece of cake.

"They do your blood work and your urine and you know...a physical and eye exam," says Wiest.

Drivers also say obesity is a big concern. Not only for the driver's safety, but also for those other people trying to get from point A to point B.

"Overweight leads to a heart attack. That's not what you need when you're driving down the roads with 80,000 pounds," says Blanchard.

Commercial vehicle crashes happen more than you think, and many of those crashes result in fatalities. So, when the time rolls around, get the test because no one wins with a collision with a semi.

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