Bus/limo/taxi Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

FMCSA to develop minimum training standards for entry-level CMV drivers

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Photo: Bobbie Osborne/iStockphoto

Washington – Entry-level commercial truck and bus drivers seeking a commercial driver’s license or select endorsements will soon face national minimum training requirements under a final rule announced Dec. 7 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The new rule will apply to first-time CDL applicants; drivers seeking to upgrade their CDL to another classification; and drivers seeking an endorsement for hazardous materials, passenger or school bus operations for the first time.

Student drivers seeking a CDL will be required to show proficiency “in knowledge training and behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road,” FMCSA states. The training must be obtained from an instructional program that meets the agency’s standards.

“Ensuring that drivers are properly trained is a critical element in improving road safety for everyone,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release. “The entry-level training standards for large truck and bus operators put forth today exemplify a commitment to safety from a broad coalition of commercial motor vehicle stakeholders.”

The Arlington, VA-based American Trucking Associations praised the rule.

“ATA has consistently advocated that skills, not simply time spent in a classroom or behind the wheel, should be the deciding factor if a student should be allowed to take a commercial driver’s license test,” ATA Executive Vice President of Advocacy Bill Sullivan said in a Dec. 7 press release. “Today’s rule is a victory for common sense and for safety.”

The final rule is scheduled to go into effect Feb. 6, with a compliance date slated for Feb. 7, 2020.

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