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FMCSA asked to reconsider its new entry-level driver training requirements

Behind-the-wheel instruction is point of contention for stakeholders

Posted January 3, 2017

A petition — asserting that major aspects of the entry-level driver training final rule are not in the public’s interest — asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to reconsider its rulemaking published on December 8, 2016.

The Petition for Reconsideration was filed by Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Truck Safety Coalition, and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH). All the petitioners were members of the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC) and participated in the Negotiated Rulemaking that resulted in the final rule, “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators.”

Concerns of over BTW instruction

The final rule removed the behind-the-wheel (BTW) hours’ requirement that previously appeared in the proposed rulemaking. The final rule requires the driver to demonstrate proficiency to the instructor in performing a series of maneuvers. This could be one single demonstration of the skill based on the verbiage in the rule. The stakeholders argue that this is the same bar that commercial driver’s license applicants have always been required to pass.

The petitioners also claim the current BTW requirements disregard:

  • Congressional mandates;
  • A decision made by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 2005 that rejected language in an earlier proposed entry-level driver training rule; and
  • Recommendations from FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

View the letter in its entirety.


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