FMCSA withdraws rulemaking on entry-level driver training

By Jill Dunn on

In light of feedback and new regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is withdrawing its 2007 entry-level driver training rulemaking to pursue a new proposal.

On Sept. 19, the agency announced it was withdrawing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, noting the 2012 highway reauthorization act included language on setting these standards. “…A new rulemaking would provide the most effective starting point for implementing” the new regulations, the FMCSA wrote.

The agency added that it had considered comments submitted on the NPRM, feedback received during the public listening sessions last spring and the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee June report.

The agency currently has two research projects underway to gather supporting information on the effectiveness of entry-level driver training.

The 2012 law mandates the FMCSA issue a Final Rule by Oct.1. It also stipulates training address knowledge and skills for operation, specific requirements for hazmat endorsements and a uniform federal standard be set for training.

In 1991, after Congress directed the Federal Highway Administration study the issue, the FHWA published a three-volume study concluding “on-street hours” of training was necessary as a standard. The FMCSA issued a training rule in 2004, but a federal appellate court returned it to the agency the following year because it lacked behind-the-wheel training.

8 comments
Andres James
Andres James

Sighting visual business logo!  On the internet first impressions count and that’s likely to be your business is your logo.

Edsaid
Edsaid

It's like everything else. When there is a problem the government steps in and makes a real mess of it by over reacting.

There is definitly a serious problem on our roads and yes people should be trained to drive. There are many other things people do that nobody would imagine doing without training that are far less dangerous than traveling down the road in a large piece of metal at a high rate of speed.

It used to be when growing up you would be exposed to things that you would later need to know as an adult. You may have learned to operate a mower or have had some opportunities to work with a parent, uncle or at a summer job where you had exposure to equipment or even some early driver training. But most people don't get that opportunity anymore and haven't for some time. This makes formal training that much more important. Not just for truck drivers but for everyone, so it needs to be put back in school as a regular class for the basic driver's license. Advance classes can be set up after that for professional drivers.

Truck driving is an important profession and should be treated as such along with the respect it deserves.   

Old Lady Driver
Old Lady Driver

As a former Truck Driving School teacher and a Company Driver Trainer over the years. I totally agree with EVERYTHING  DOTDoctor said.  Now retired from driving, but working in a trucking company office, I see it consistently

lack of early training effects us ALL.  Youngsters have no way of knowing what they have never been made aware of, they must be taught early on and consistently!!

DOTDoctor
DOTDoctor

I have been wondering how long the "open" training policy would stand.  Right now there appears to be no guidance or restriction on who can teach a new entry driver or how it is done.  There needs to be a set format so all trainer are of the same minimum standard and on the same page.  This should happen during driving school so it is done by licensed teachers.  Companies should adopt a best practice to train their workers to their specific vehicles as well as introductory training for new hires and a more through one for new entry hires. 

 

We have too many steering wheel holders on the road today due to high turnover and companies needing a "pulse behind the wheel".  Has technology inspired this since dispatch and operations feel they can "run" the truck from the office? 

 

What we actually need is a TRUE driver training program.  We need a 6month - year long tech college course(s) that addresses the multiple aspects of trucking.  Not just how to hold a steering wheel but maintenance, proper PTI, time management, directions/map reading/gps usage, driver fitness and exercise, sleep discussions and prep, real world driving, chaining classes, HOS classes and some real info sharing from seasoned vets.  Fox Valley Tech use to offer a program of this nature.  Not sure if they still do.  It was years before the CDL when this was offered.   When I worked at the driving schools, you have 6 weeks or less to "get them out the door".  I was always in trouble for sharing "real world" situations.  They said it "shared the students" and I was to stop it or leave.  Too many students left once they found out what trucking really was about and they could not afford that on their numbers.  So, process the loan, grab the gov. money and create another steering wheel holder to attack the public at large.   Is that really what we want from a driving school?

 

It is time to look at these safety rules from a new point of view.  Stop the band-aids and patches.  The system needs a rebuild and revampment from training to HOS to shippers/receivers to operational persons at the companies to regulations; in many aspects.  One size does NOT fit all and it is past time that is realized.  The pay structure and the way we conduct business in this industry needs a new look.  Let's start at the classroom and build a better trucker, trucking company and trucking regulatory system.

Cathy Guignet
Cathy Guignet

 @DOTDoctor The way that so many people drive today they care nothing about the safety of all of those around them. Yesterday there were 18 semi-truck wrecks in the Dallas area during the rain yesterday some of them were very severe. People's lives were changed forever. There never is a good outcome when there is a wreck. What will it take for people to care about themselves and all of the people that we all share the road with? What will it take to stop people from speeding, driving to fast for conditions, from following to close. What will stop semi drivers from driving 80,000 lb. vehicles like they were a 4,000 lb. car? Every company provides safety training, but were is the training of ethics and techniques and defensive driving. Today drivers drive offensively instead of defensively. That has created aggressive drivers that are causing wrecks and hurting thousands of people yearly not to mention thousands that die every year needlessly on or roads. Driving schools teach just enough to drivers to get them killed. This why the industry has so many dime a dozen, 2 bit seat warming, steering wheel holders driving trucks today

clem591
clem591

 @DOTDoctor

as long as insurance is a DOT requirement there is no need for a bloated bureaucracy to meddle in the market under the guise of safety. The market and nature is capable of culling the bad apples.  If the DOT wanted to improve safety they would stand down and let technology drive the safety factor, smart trucks that have driver fatigue shut downs along with the google smart car technology would most likely save substantially on insurance.  I can see 10 years from now having driverless cars and a drone deliver my pizza while the DOT regulated OTR trucking industry dies on the vine.   

DOTDoctor
DOTDoctor

 @clem591 Excellent points and on point.  Insurance dictates our driver policies and hiring qualifications.  It is too intertwined in the industry.  While we need to be insured; they should not be the driving force of regulation.

NavyMom
NavyMom

 @DOTDoctor  @clem591 I don't think that clem591 was saying that the insurance companies should not be the driving force of regulation. I think he or she was saying the opposite. 

 

Insurance does a very good job of culling drivers, at least our insurance company does! They have a very vested interest in not having unsafe drivers on the road. 

 

I believe that we are being over-regulated in the entire industry. 

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