Thousands of truckers could be affected by alleged medical card fraud
The medical cards of thousands of drivers who hold commercial driver’s licences (CDLs), are in doubt due to alleged fraudulent activity on the part of the medical examiner.
Dr. Anthony Lefteris, a medical examiner based in Atlanta, Georgia, is said to have issued medical certifications to truck drivers without performing the full array of tests, according to an article by Overdrive.
According to records, Lefteris issued about 360 medical cards a month, while the average is around 13 to 14, according to investigators from the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT). It’s estimated that he may have granted as many as 8,000 cards.
The investigation used three undercover officers, who visited Lefteris’s office. In all three cases, the officers were granted medical cards without undergoing many of the required tests, including hearing and vision tests, as well as urinalysis, blood pressure and heart rate checks. In turn, Lefteris would enter fake data into the DOT’s medical forms.
Truckers are required to attend a medical exam every 24 months, which is meant to monitor conditions which could result in unsafe driving, including high blood pressure.
While drivers with physical impairments may still be granted a medical card, they must apply for exemptions and take steps in order to do so.
In recent years, many medical examination posts have sprung up at truck stops around the country, garnering criticism for their alleged failure to adhere to the rules. They are sometimes seen as an easy way for drivers to avoid the rigors of medical examinations, potentially placing fellow drivers at risk.