Federal agencies Trucking

Groups sue DOT over entry-level truck driver training

Washington – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and a group of safety advocates have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation regarding training standards for entry-level truck drivers.

According to Public Citizen, which is representing the advocacy groups, Congress first instructed DOT to complete rulemaking on driver training by 1993. But DOT never fully complied, Public Citizen said. The lawsuit calls for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to order DOT to issue entry-level driver training regulations.

Public Citizen said entry-level drivers now need to complete only 10 hours of classroom lectures and pass a test to obtain a commercial driver’s license. These standards needed to be strengthened, the group claimed.

In addition to suing DOT, the group (which also included Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways) sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which would be in charge of issuing the entry-level training rule.

The lawsuit followed a similar push in June by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which also called for DOT and FMCSA to bolster training standards for new drivers to help improve safety.

When reached for comment, DOT cited its policy of not responding to pending litigation.