OOIDA wins legal victory against FMCSA

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) says it has won a significant battle in its ongoing war against the FMCSA’s driver training rule.

The controversial rule, introduced in 2004, doesn’t require behind-the-wheel training for entry level drivers of commercial motor vehicles. OOIDA and two safety advocate groups filed a lawsuit against the ruling in 2004 and on Dec. 2 the U.S. Court of Appeals granted a petition filed by OOIDA ordering the FMCSA to revisit the rule.

OOIDA Ppresident and CEO Jim Johnston, who has been pushing for driver training requirements since the early ’80s, said the ruling is a major step, but cautioned that the issue is not yet completely resolved.

“It’s not a real victory until a comprehensive training rule is published,” Johnston said, adding that it took the feds decades to come up with the current rule. “We want a comprehensive driver training program that teaches guys to drive the types of vehicles they will be driving on the roadI would also like to see an apprentice program.”

In his ruling, Senior Circuit Judge, Harry T. Edwards wrote the FMCSA “entirely failed to consider important aspects of the CMV training problemsand it adopted a final rule whose terms have almost nothing to do with an ‘adequate’ CMV training program.”

The court did not set out a deadline for FMCSA to rewrite the rule by. Nonetheless, OOIDA says the victory could go a long way towards developing safer highways in the U.S.

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