This week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a two year delay to a rule that establishes nationwide minimum training standards for new truck drivers.
In a notice published in the Federal Register, the FMCSA pushed back the compliance date for the “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators” from February 7, 2020, to February 7, 2022.
The FMCSA says that the delay will allow state drivers license agencies time to update their IT infrastructure, internal procedures, and budgeting allocation to properly record driver course completion information. The delay will also allow the FMCSA time to update their electronic interface, the agency says.
The entry-level driver training Final Rule was published by the FMCSA on December 7, 2016.
While the entry-level driver training rule does not, as some industry stakeholders had hoped, establish a minimum number of behind the wheel hours for CDL students, it does require that “applicants seeking a CDL would be required to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge training and behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road, with training obtained from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards.”
The entry-level driver training rule would impact anyone obtaining a CDL for the first time or anyone who wanted to upgrade their CDL from a Class B to a Class A.
At the time that the Final Rule was published, the FMCSA said that they believed the new driver training standard would reduce the number of highway deaths, increase fuel economy, and increase overall efficiency in trucking.