The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has devised a new driver training rule called the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule. Under the rule, there will be new minimum training standards for truck drivers applying for:
- Their first A Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL);
- A CDL upgrade;
- Hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsements
When will the rule take effect?
The rule will take effect on March 21, 2017. The ELDT rule will take effect almost a month and a half after FMCSA originally intended, a result of President Trump’s January 20, 2017 regulatory freeze.
The rule’s compliance date is February 7, 2020. The three years will allow enough time for states to make the necessary changes to their driver’s record information systems. It will also allow time for the development of CMV (commercial motor vehicle) driver training programs that will meet the requirements of the new rule.
What will the rule change?
Beginning February 7, 2020, all persons in the impacted groups will have to complete an approved instruction program before they may take a state commercial driver’s license skills test. ELDT will not affect drivers currently exempt from taking a skills test.
The ELDT rule requires drivers successfully complete training provided by a training provider on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. FMCSA also mandates that the training must be specific to the type of license or endorsement the driver is seeking.
What are the reactions to the new rule?
Safety groups are speaking out against the lack of a requirement for a minimum number of behind-the-wheel (BTW) training hours. The previous regulations included a requirement of a minimum of 30 hours of BTW training, half on a driving range and half on-road driving. The new rule still includes BTW hours; however, it does not set a minimum number of hours.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), along with the Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety (AAHS), the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) have petitioned FMCSA to reinstate the 30-hour BTW training requirement.
FMCSA defends the absence of a minimum number of BTW training hours with the argument that it could not find enough scientific data showing a valid connection between mandated BTW training hours with a reduction in the number of crashes or other safety issues. The FMCSA will require the training providers to keep data on the number of BTW training hours drivers receive. The FMCSA will then analyze this data, along with the CMV driving records of the drivers.
From this, the FMCSA will draw conclusions on the question of whether the number of BTW training hours has a correlation with safer driving. If the FMCSA determines there is a valid evidence-based correlation, it will revisit requiring a mandatory minimum of BTW training hours.
How will this affect Atlanta roads?
While this new rule will help make our roads safer for all drivers, we might not see its effects for quite some time. If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a truck accident, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz can help you manage your entire case from filing a claim and gathering evidence to valuing damages and negotiating settlements.
Call today: 404-474-0804.