California Eyeing Strict CDL Rules

SACRAMENTO — California is considering a measure that would make commercial motor vehicle driver training requirements more strict than a proposed federal mandate.

The proposal would require 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training for a Class A CDL and 15 hours for a Class B license.

State Sen. Bill Monning introduced SB 158, which also incorporates the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule for CDL minimum training standards.    The Democratic legislator’s bill implements a 2012 federal mandate that CDL applicants complete a certified instruction course before receiving the license.

The bill’s introduction notes a 2014 Highway 17 accident in which a trucker crashed into 10 cars, injuring seven and killing one. The driver’s lack of adequate training and experience was determined to be a major contributor to the crash.

That year, California reported 10,062 at-fault commercial vehicle collisions, of which 2,432 resulted in injury and 68 were fatal.

In December, FMCSA published a final rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

The rule has been postponed until March 21 to comply with President Donald Trump’s order that federal agencies freeze new rules and delay those published but not yet effective.

Although the federal rule originally called for 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, that requirement was removed from the final version. Some trucking and safety groups have asked FMCSA to reinstate the 30-hour requirement.

Share this post