Driver-training rule delayed again

WASHINGTON – A new rule establishing national driver-training standards for entry-level commercial bus and truck drivers has been delayed again, this time until May 22.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had scheduled the rule to take effect on Feb. 6, but delayed it until March 21 to comply with President Donald Trump’s order to federal agencies to freeze new rules and to delay those published but not yet effective.

The latest delay “is necessary to provide the opportunity for further review and consideration of this new regulation,” acting FMCSA Administrator Daphne Jefferson wrote in the notice published in the Federal Register.

The driver-training rule has a three-year implementation window and only applies to drivers receiving their commercial driver’s licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020. FMCSA officials said the 2020 implementation date is not affected by the delay.

The entry-level driver-training rule sets a core classroom curriculum for those seeking a CDL. It also requires behind-the-wheel training, but does not require a minimum amount of such training. The rule also will establish a national registry of certified trainers.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Truck Safety Coalition and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways petitioned FMCSA requesting that it add a requirement for 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training to the rule.

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