The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) published in today’s Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Entry-Level Commercial Driver Training. It is a proposed rule, which means that FMCSA is seeking comments from interested parties on the specific requirements contained in the proposal.
There is an opportunity to modify the specific provisions before a final rule is adopted. CVTA will be actively involved with the FMCSA and industry groups such as the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers’ Association in shaping the final rule. The comment period closes March 25, 2007.
The following is a summary of the proposed regulations:
- All drivers will be required to receive formal training prior to obtaining a Commercial Drivers’ License.
- The training must consist of a minimum of 120 hours of instruction, with 44 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. The definition of “behind-the-wheel” training does not include observation time.
- The proposed curriculum follows the major subject headings contained in “Model Curriculum for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers” published by Federal Highway Administration in 1985.
- The instruction must be given by an institution that is accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
- This requirement would also apply to employer-based training programs.
- The training institution must issue a “Driver Training Certificate” to a student-driver that successfully completes the training program. An original “Driver Training Certificate” must be presented to a state licensing agency as part of the application for a Commercial Drivers’ License.
- The Proposed Rule establishes qualifications for both classroom and driving instructors.
- The rules would go into effect 3 years after the date of publication of a Final Rule.