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FMCSA delays federal training standards rule

03.3.2020 - 12:03 PM Comments: 0

With the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule set to take effect on Feb. 7, 2020, the FMCSA has decided to postpone its implementation until Feb. 7, 2022. 

With the rule initially being finalized in 2017, the FMCSA is now giving stakeholders a total of 5 years to prepare for the implementation of the rule, giving them time to execute the necessary systems and procedures. 

In a statement, the FMCSA expressed their reservations for pushing the ruling as soon as this month. According to the agency, the delay will give them time to “develop a secure and effective electronic trainer provider registry.”

According to Transport Topics, the rule received plenty of input from industry stalwarts, as it was formulated by a specially appointed committee of truckers, training school representatives, and other industry stakeholders.

The purpose of the Entry-Level Driver Training is to standardize curriculums for all trucking schools and fleets that provide training to prospective drivers. The curriculum currently includes basic topics such as vehicle operations, PTIs, backing & docking, distracted driving, roadside inspections, and whistleblower protections & procedures.

In theory, by applying a standardized system, new drivers should all be universally prepared to be on the road. 

Speaking to Transport Topics, vice president of safety policy for the American Trucking Associations, Dan Horvath spoke on the extent of the requirements. 

“We would still encourage fleets who are bringing entry-level drivers onboard to make sure they have a thorough training program so that drivers are being brought into the industry appropriately.”

By establishing new benchmarks, the FMCSA believes that there will be a substantial improvement in the quality of drivers throughout the United States.

Once the rule is implemented, however, it will be replacing a system that many believe to be fairly inefficient. With limited federal requirements for obtaining a CDL, there is currently no federal oversight of the process, according to The National Law Review. 

Because of this, many throughout the industry believe that training needs to be standardized. While some schools provide entry-level drivers with in-depth industry knowledge, others fail to meet minimum requirements. 

Currently, drivers need to meet various demands to receive a CDL, which include having a regular driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, have at least one or two years of driving experience, be a U.S. citizen, and pass applicable background checks. 

Additionally, prospective drivers must self-certify health requirements, pass written and knowledge exams, and pass behind-the-wheel tests as well. 

So, what do you think about the proposed changes? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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