Federal agencies Trucking Transportation

FMCSA finalizes entry-level driver training rule, extension

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Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finalized an interim final rule that delayed, by two years, the compliance date for its initial final rule on minimum training requirements for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers.

According to a final rule published in the June 30 Federal Register, the compliance date for the ELDT final rule is Feb. 7.

The final rule – initially published in December 2016 with an effective date of Feb. 7, 2020 – is the first to establish minimum training standards for first-time applicants for Class A or B commercial driver’s licenses or those seeking a CDL upgrade to Class A or B. It also sets standards for drivers attempting to obtain hazardous materials, passenger or school bus endorsements for the first time.

 

The extension allows for “additional time to complete development of the Training Provider Registry (TPR) and provides state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) time to modify their information technology systems and procedures” to accommodate the driver-specific training data.

The latest final rule is set to go into effect July 31, more than a year after the interim rule was finalized Feb. 4, 2020.

An increase in driver training, according to FMCSA, will result in improved fuel economy based on changes in driver behavior, such as smoother acceleration and braking. Better fuel economy also is anticipated to result in lower air emissions and improved air quality for gases, including carbon dioxide.

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