The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed a set of national prerequisite training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). The proposed rule covers both "Class A" and "Class B" CDLs. Drivers seeking "Class A" CDLs would be required to have a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a program that meets FMCSA standards, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating a vehicle on a practice driving range. Those seeking "Class B" CDLs would be required to have a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training and a minimum of 10 hours of practice on a driving range. There was no proposed minimum number of hours that trainees must spend in the classroom portion of any curriculum. FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling said, "We've designated 2016 as our 'Year of Partnerships,' and these comprehensive entry-level driver training standards exemplify our commitment to working closely with our safety partners, including state and local law enforcement, the safety advocacy community, and all other stakeholders to reduce crashes and to save lives." The proposed compliance date for the rule would be three years after the effective date of the final rule to give states enough time to implement necessary legislation, modify their information systems to begin recording the training provider's certificate information on the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS), and begin making that information available from the CDLIS driver record.
Occupational Health & Safety (06/01/2016) Holden, Matt