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FMSCA, AAMVA discuss updates to CDL skills testing practices

Current rules were adopted more than a decade ago

Posted February 18, 2019

Potential revisions to the commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills testing practices were discussed during a recent meeting of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The meeting, according to the NPTC Weekly Update, a digital publication of the National Private Truck Council, discussed potential revisions that would include changes to the vehicle inspection list, the basic control skills test, and the driver’s and examiner’s manuals for CDL applicants.

The current skills testing rules were adopted more than a decade ago. Technology changes to commercial motor vehicles (CMV) such as the emergence of hybrid electric CMVs and 360-degree camera monitoring systems are among the reasons to readdress the rules, the AAMVA’s test maintenance subcommittee said.

Also addressed during the discussions were procedural concerns such as the length of time required to schedule tests, high fail rates for vehicle inspection tests, and non-uniform testing processes between jurisdictions.

Under the proposed plans, a pilot program will conduct tests using various classes and combinations of vehicles operated by novice and experienced drivers. Data will be collected and analyzed by an independent third party to ensure that proposed revisions are valid.

The AAMVA said these are the first step in the process of making changes. No dates or deadlines were announced regarding implementation of any updates.

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