Entry-level driver training proposal to be published

Drivers would need classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction

Posted March 4, 2016

Training standards and provider requirements are included in the proposed entry-level driver training regulation expected to be published in the March 7, 2016, Federal Register.

The proposal requires training of both interstate and intrastate drivers obtaining their first CDL, upgrading their CDL, or obtaining a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement. The proposal also requires a CDL holder who has been disqualified from operating a CMV to successfully complete refresher training.

The proposed training includes both classroom and behind-the-wheel (range and public road) segments.

There is no proposed minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the classroom portion of the training. The proposal does include minimum hours’ requirements for behind-the-wheel training.

Under the proposal, Class A CDL driver-trainees must receive a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, with a minimum of 10 hours on a driving range. Driving on a public road would also be required, and Class A CDL driver-trainees may fulfill this requirement by either driving 10 hours on a public road, or 10 public road trips (each no less than 50 minutes in duration).

Class B CDL driver-trainees must receive a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, with a minimum of 7 hours of public road driving.

Training providers must, at a minimum, offer and teach a training curriculum that meets all FMCSA standards for entry-level drivers and must also meet requirements related to course administration, qualifications for instructional personnel, assessments, issuance of training certificates, and training vehicles. Training providers that meet these requirements would be eligible for listing on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry and must continue to meet the eligibility requirements in order to stay listed on the registry.

This article was written by Jill Schultz of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.


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