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FMCSA withdraws rulemaking on entry-level driver training

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.

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