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INTERNATIONAL ROADCHECK 2016 FINDS VIOLATIONS NEAR BENTON More than one in five commer-


cial trucks inspected by the Arkansas Highway Police had violations severe enough for authorities to pull them off the road pending repairs during International Roadcheck 2016, 72 hours dedicated to roadside inspections for commercial vehicles, according to the state Highway and Transportation Department. Police across the state randomly


inspected 637 trucks between Tuesday and Friday morning, and they took 149 vehicles out of service. The most com-


driver that comes through or the single owner-operator that’s maybe trying to cut corners to make ends meet,” he said. “That’s the exception rather than the rule.” David O’Neal, director of safety


services at the Arkansas Trucking Association, said that although one violation is too many, the top-line num- bers don’t account for the violations’ severity. Over the past generation, the


trucking industry has undergone a “sea change” in safety standards, he said. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents dropped by 17 percent, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.


ATRI RELEASES SLEEP APNEA RESEARCH DATA The American Transportation


mon reason police pulled trucks off the road was brake problems, department spokesman Danny Straessle said. Officers also pulled 67 drivers out


of service, including one who was cited on suspicion of drinking and driving. Others were cited for not updating their logbooks or for driving too long. The rate of vehicle violations is


similar to last year’s inspection results, when officers pulled 168 trucks out of service from the 619 they inspected. But the number of drivers taken out of ser- vice increased by more than 50 percent from the 43 drivers taken out of service last year. Straessle said most Arkansas car-


riers have good safety records because problems can lead to fewer trucks on the road and cut into profits. “But there’s always the out-of-state


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Research Institute released the results of its sleep apnea survey, which high- lights a number of issues related to truck driver screening and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). With data from over 800 commercial driv- ers, ATRI’s report is the first to quantify the costs and other impacts that truck drivers are experiencing as they address diagnosis and potential treatment regi- men for OSA. The study found that among drivers


who had been referred to a sleep study, 53 percent paid some or all of the test costs, with an average of $1,220 in out- of-pocket expenses, representing just over 1.5 weeks of median driver pay at $805 per week. Even some drivers with health


insurance (32%) incurred out-of-pocket costs exceeding $1000, while 61 percent of drivers with no health insurance met more than $1000 in sleep study bills. None of these costs include pay lost for time away from work. Forty-one percent of participants spent 1–30 days away from work for sleep apnea screening. The study also found the number


of drivers who report not adhering to a prescribed OSA treatment, most com-


monly use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, was only 1.95 percent of the moderate/ severe OSA diagnosed respondents. “ATRI’s research clearly shows


what my fellow drivers and I have been experiencing. The costs associated with sleep apnea screening and treatment are not inconsequential for drivers, and the flexibility to utilize lower cost options for both screening and treatment will be critical if FMCSA moves forward with a formal rulemaking,” said Barbara Beal, an owner-operator and member of OOIDA. Find the full findings and a copy of the white paper at www.atri-online.org.


TELEMEDICINE APPROVED FOR ARKANSAS Under proposed regulations


approved by the Arkansas State Medical Board, doctors would be allowed to use video and audio technology to remotely treat patients they have never examined in person. The regulations would allow doc-


tors to establish “a proper physician/ patient relationship” through an exami- nation using “real time audio and visual telemedicine technology” as long as the technology “provides information at least equal to such information as would have been obtained by an in- person examination.” The changes came in response to


Act 887 of 2015, which allows doctors to treat only patients they have exam- ined at some point in person, have an ongoing professional or personal rela- tionship with or have been referred by another doctor or when they are filling in for the patient’s regular doctor. The law also allows the State


Medical Board to specify other ways the physician-patient relationship can be established. Representatives of 15 groups,


including the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Trucking Association and America’s Car Mart, wrote a letter to the board stating the


 Issue 3 2016 | ARKANSAS TRUCKING REPORT


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