The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed prerequisite training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) nationwide.
“Well-trained drivers are safer drivers, which leads to greater safety for our families and friends on our highways and roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Applicants seeking a Class A CDL to operate a combination tractor-trailer type vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more would have to obtain a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from an instructional program, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating the vehicle on a practice driving range.
For a Class B CDL, which is needed to operate a school bus, city transit bus or motorcoach, candidates would be required to obtain a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, including a minimum of seven hours of practice range training.
“With the help of our partners, today’s proposal serves as a major step towards ensuring that commercial vehicle drivers receive the necessary training required to safely operate a large truck or motorcoach,” said Foxx.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) reflects the recommendations from FMCSA representatives and 25 stakeholders, including the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services and the National School Transportation Association, and is a mandate imposed under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.
“A diverse group of commercial motor vehicle stakeholders completed a tremendous amount of work, and that effort resulted in an unprecedented consensus,” said Scott Darling, acting administrator for FMCSA.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments as part of the next phase of the rulemaking, which will remain open through April 6.