National training standards and driver jobs

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking a look at national training standards and how the impact driver jobs.

The department established a comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements. The standards established address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training.

The comprehensive CDL training requirements, which emphasize safety and promote driving efficiency, will result in lives saved, reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, vehicle maintenance cost reductions, and industry-wide performance improvements. The rulemaking was mandated by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

“This new rule represents the culmination of a sustained and coordinated effort to identify appropriate pre-licensing CDL standards that will enhance safety on our Nation’s roads,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling, III. “Without the collective efforts of our stakeholders working closely with us, we could not have completed this important lifesaving rule. We especially appreciate the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee for its tireless efforts and expertise to enhance roadway safety through the negotiated rulemaking process.”

Under the Final Rule announced today, 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. There is no required minimum number of hours for the knowledge or behind-the-wheel portions of any of the individual training curricula, but training providers must determine that each CDL applicant demonstrates proficiency in all required elements of the training in order to successfully complete the program.

Mandatory, comprehensive training in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories would apply to the following individuals under the Final Rule:

First-time CDL applicants, including:

“Class A” CDLs

“Class B” CDLs