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Trump order prompts FMCSA to further delay effective date of rule setting national driver training standards

Two truck drivers in the cab of a truck

A rule setting classroom curriculum and behind-the-wheel proficiency standards for entry-level truck drivers will now take effect May 22, according to a notice from FMCSA slated for publication March 21. The rule’s 2020 compliance date, however, is seemingly unchanged.

The effective date of a rule establishing nationwide minimum training standards for entry-level truck drivers has been further delayed due to ongoing regulatory review by President Trump and his staff.

The rule will now take effective May 22 according to a notice scheduled to be published March 21 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The rule was originally slated to take effect Feb. 6, with a compliance date of Feb. 7, 2020. The rule’s February 2020 compliance date does not appear to be affected by the delay in its effective date.

FMCSA published a notice Feb. 1 delaying the rule’s effective date to March 21. The notice slated for March 21 publication extends the delay two more months, however, “to provide the opportunity for further review and consideration of this new regulation,” according to FMCSA’s notice.

The delay stems from an order issued by Trump on Jan. 20. The order froze all pending regulations, encompassing FMCSA’s driver-training rule, which had been published but was not yet effective.

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The entry-level driver training rule sets a core classroom curriculum for those seeking a CDL. It also requires behind-the-wheel training, but to the chagrin of some trucking industry groups, it does not require a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training time. The agency’s initial draft of the rule required 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, but that provision was removed in the rule’s final draft.

The rule also will establish a national registry of certified trainers. CDL trainees must be trained by a trainer in the registry to qualify to receive a CDL.

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.