WASHINGTON, D.C. — The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a set of comprehensive national prerequisite training standards for entry-level commercial truck drivers.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking calls for comprehensive training requirements before obtaining a commercial driver’s licence (CDL).
“Well-trained drivers are safer drivers, which leads to greater safety for our families and friends on our highways and roads,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “With the help of our partners, today’s proposal serves as a major step towards ensuring that commercial vehicle drivers receive the necessary training required to safely operate a large truck or motorcoach.”
Under the proposal, applicants seeking a CDL would have to obtain a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards. This would include a minimum of 10 hours operating the vehicles on a practice driving range. There is no proposed minimum number of hours that drivers will have to spend on classroom portions of their training.
“A diverse group of commercial motor vehicle stakeholders completed a tremendous amount of work, and that effort resulted in an unprecedented consensus,” said FMCSA acting administrator Scott Darling. “We’ve designated 2016 as our ‘Year of Partnerships’ and these comprehensive entry-level driver training standards exemplify our commitment to working closely with our safety partners, including state and local law enforcement, the safety advocacy community, and all other stakeholders to reduce crashes and to save lives.”
The rules would apply to first-time CDL applicants and CDL-holders seeking an upgrade.
The proposed requirements were developed by FMCSA’s Entry-Level Driver Training Academy Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), which met for six two-day negotiating sessions beginning last February.
An FMCSA representative told Trucknews.com the proposed rule would have no impact on Canadian-licensed commercial motor vehicle drivers. However, the proposal reflects a similar movement in Ontario to introduce mandatory training requirements for entry-level commercial drivers.