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Feds Form 26-member Panel to Update Professional Truck Driver Training

February 13, 2015 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News, Regulations, Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this week formed a 26-member advisory committee that is tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for commercial truck drivers and professional bus drivers.

Late last year, the FMCSA said it intended to establish a committee to examine minimum training requirements, including length of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel experience, accreditation versus certification of Commercial Driver’s License training programs and schools, property and hazardous materials carriers, instructor qualifications, as well as other areas.

“Over the next 30 years, we’re going to be relying on trucks — and truckers — to move more than 40 percent more freight than they currently do,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “With more people and freight crossing our country than ever before, this committee’s work will be critical to ensuring that commercial drivers are fully capable of operating their vehicles safely.”

The Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee is made up of a cross-section of motor carrier interests, including training organizations, the intercity bus and trucking industries, law enforcement, labor unions, and safety advocates. The committee is tasked with negotiating the issues to be addressed in a proposed training rule, which the agency intends to issue by the fall of 2015, with a final rule expected in 2016.

The first meeting of the advisory committee is scheduled for Feb. 26 and 27 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. and will be open to the public.

The MAP-21 transportation bill directed FMCSA to establish new minimum training requirements for individuals seeking to obtain an intrastate or interstate commercial driver’s license and become a professional truck or bus operator.

In August 2014, FMCSA announced that it had retained a neutral convener, and was exploring the possibility of proceeding with a negotiated rulemaking.

The convener interviewed stakeholders and recommended proceeding with a negotiated rulemaking.

For details and updates on the panel, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/eldtac.