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OOIDA continues push for better-trained drivers

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo.- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is looking for a swift implementation of minimum training standards for new CDL holders.

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo.- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is looking for a swift implementation of minimum training standards for new CDL holders.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency that oversees motor carrier safety regulations, recently announced that it will withdraw a notice published in 2007 because of issues raised at listening sessions held early this year.

­Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of OOIDA, is eager to see changes to the current standard.

“While the withdrawal is somewhat emblematic of the agency’s past approach to driver training, untargeted and low on the priority list, we are hopeful that this is an opportunity for them to have a unique perspective and follow the path on driver training that our professional and experienced members have suggested,” said Spencer. “This basic highway safety step is long overdue, having initially been a Congressional directive in 1991.”

While the association sees the withdrawal as a step back in the effort to enact mandatory entry-level driver training, OOIDA also sees an opportunity in advancing its Truckers for Safety agenda, which includes an in-depth driver-training proposal for long-haul truckers.

Spencer wants to see a more practical approach to training, where experienced drivers train new drivers, as opposed to the opposite, which according to Spencer, is the current standard.

“Experienced and safe truckers made it quite clear to FMCSA during the listening session last spring: Entry-level driver training should be a top safety priority of the agency,” Spencer said.

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1 Comment » for OOIDA continues push for better-trained drivers
  1. Paul says:

    I honestly don’t believe it’s lack of driver training. I hear this all the time and can only shake my head in bewilderment.

    Do training schools teach drivers to pass a truck going 1 mph slower, taking 5-6 miles to make the pass, backing up traffic for miles?

    Do schools teach drivers to pull off the shoulder of the road after an emergency stop, going into the lane before they even grab two gears, from a stop?

    Do schools teach drivers to tear through parking lots in high range or park at fuel islands while they eat or take a shower?

    It is not the lack of training. I never went to “truck driving school” and never had official training, but somehow, I manage not to be an idiot with my truck.

    The problem is the drivers themselves. No amount of schooling will ever teach somebody not to be aggressive or patient. We need to start marketing the available jobs to QUALIFIED individuals. By “qualified”, I don’t mean with prior driving experience. I mean somebody who is mature and responsible.

    Hire the right people. This will only come from management. But alas, the large companies have loads to cover and will put any homeless scrub in a truck that can get a cdl.

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