Entry-level driver training rule advances

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief | 11/18/2016

The proposal for the first federal rule with behind-the-wheel requirements for entry-level truck driver training cleared another hurdle this week. The much-hashed-over proposal cleared a review by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and is now ready for another required step, publication in the Federal Register.

OOIDA has long advocated the need for mandated driver training for all new CDL applicants. The Association’s history to make entry-level driver training a national priority is decades long.

In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established a committee of 26 industry stakeholders – including OOIDA - to hammer out the framework of what entry-level driver training should consist of through a negotiated rulemaking process.

The Entry-Level Driver Training Committee concluded its work in June of that year and presented its consensus final recommendation to the agency. That set the next stage of the process in motion. A mandatory 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training was recommended by the committee. The training is to consist of 10 hours on the road, 10 on the “range” (not a public highway), and the remaining 10 to be used as the training provider sees fit.

On March 7 of this year, FMCSA published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Federal Register and sought comments on the proposal.

On Aug. 30, the agency sent its version to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. The OMB assists the president in preparing and administering the federal budget. It oversees the performance of federal agencies like the FMCSA and its regulatory policies.

The Association would like even more hours of driving to be required, but agrees 30 is better than the current requirement, which doesn’t mandate any behind the wheel experience.

Managing Editor Jami Jones contributed to this article.

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