The Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration won't change current rules pertaining to English
proficiency of CMV drivers.
The current rule
requires drivers operating in interstate commerce be able to "read and speak
the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public,
understand highway traffic signs and signals, respond to official inquiries and
make entries on reports and records."
The issue made the
news this month after a terrible accident about 45 miles north of Pittsburgh,
where driver and Bosnian refugee Ejub Grcic ran a stop sign. A car hit Grcic's
fuel tank resulting in the fiery deaths of five family members. Police said
Grcic, 54, of West Valley City, UT, did not speak English well enough to
communicate with authorities and needed an interpreter.
also is concern that English language requirements may not be tough enough in
view of the government's desire to allow Mexican drivers to operate beyond U.S.
commercial border zones.
However, the FMCSA
concluded that at this time, "There is no quantifiable data on which to
propose modifying the regulation to require a more stringent or definitive standard,
to require state motor vehicle agencies to administer a specific test for
comments from safety groups and law enforcement that drivers with limited
English may pose a safety concern on the road, during safety inspections, while
weighing a vehicle or during other routine law-enforcement actions.
--by Dick Larsen,
Dick Larsen can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.