Driver training proposal awaits White House review

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing proposed regulations to mandate behind-the-wheel training as part of the commercial driver’s license requirements for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers. Details of the proposal will not be released until OMB completes its review and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes the rulemaking in the Federal Register.

FMCSA’s proposal responds to a December 2005 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the current regulation for minimum entry-level driver training is inadequate because it doesn’t require any on-road training.

Current regulations, adopted in May 2004, require only classroom education and in only four areas: medical qualification and drug and alcohol testing, hours-of-service rules, wellness and whistleblower protection. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety challenged those regulations, saying FMCSA ignored its own earlier recommendations about the need for more rigorous minimum training standards.

The appeals court agreed, ordering FMCSA to come back with new rules. But the court left the existing regulations in place in the interim, saying that the regulation, “while plainly inadequate, may do some good, if it does anything at all.”