FMCSA officially delays driver training rule

March-April 2020

Mark Schremmer

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FMCSA’s decision to delay its entry-level driver training implementation was officially published in the Federal Register on Feb. 4.

The agency says the final rule’s compliance date, which was scheduled to be Feb. 7, will now be Feb. 7, 2022.

FMCSA says the delay will give it time to complete development of the Training Provider Registry, which will allow training providers to self-certify that they meet the training requirements. The agency previously announced a delay for the state driver licensing agencies to receive driver-specific entry-level driver training information.

“FMCSA is delaying the entire entry-level driver training rule, as opposed to a partial delay as proposed, due to delays in implementation of the Training Provider Registry that were not foreseen when the proposed rule was published,” the notice stated.

Background

The original entry-level driver training rule was published on Dec. 7, 2016, giving the industry, state and federal agencies more than three years to comply.

The final rule details the curriculum for individuals seeking Class A and Class B CDLs to drive trucks and/or buses. Additional curriculum segments are included for specialized niches like hazardous materials. The final rule was later amended to ease the transition from Class B to Class A licenses in May, reducing some of the theory curriculum requirements.
The rule does not include a specified amount of time required for behind-the-wheel training for either the range or on-road training. Instead, the agency opted for a proficiency-based approach that will accommodate individuals who learn at different paces. The trainers will be required to check off on a list of skills as each is mastered.

OOIDA’s view

For decades, OOIDA has supported national driver training standards, and the Association was an active participant in the negotiated rulemaking process that began in 2015.

“Delaying the rule directly contradicts FMCSA’s mission of reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks,” OOIDA wrote in comments submitted in August. LL

Land Line Managing Editor Jami Jones contributed to this report.

 

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.