The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its official notice on Feb. 4 in the Federal Register to push back compliance with new entry-level driver training requirements for commercial operators by two years.
This Friday, Feb. 7, was when the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule was supposed to go into effect. Instead, the delay notice was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday.
FMCSA said extending the compliance date to Feb. 7, 2022, is necessary so the agency can finish developing a computerized registry of training providers.
FMCSA officials also said the extension will provide State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) with the necessary time to modify their IT systems and procedures.
Public comments on the new interim rule must be received by March 20. Petitions for reconsideration of the interim final rule must also be submitted to the FMCSA by March 5.
During the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last fall, an FMCSA official discussed the intent to delay the ELDT rule because an electronic database component for storing commercial driver information was not ready.
However, requirements for behind-the-wheel and classroom training for school bus driver applicants were set to go into effect on Feb. 7.
The new Training Provider Registry (TPR) will allow training providers to self-certify that they meet the training requirements. It will also electronically receive and store ELDT certification information from training providers and transmit that data to each state driver licensing agency (SDLA).
Last July, FMCSA published a partial delay of the rule because of problems that arose with developing the database. One month later, NASDPTS recommended to FMCSA that it delay the entire rule, rather than enforce the requirements piece-meal.
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FMCSA initiated the new rule in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s December 2005 decision that remanded ”Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators,” which was published on May 21, 2004, to the agency for further consideration.
According to FMCSA, the rulemaking must consider the “effectiveness of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) driver training in reducing crashes, the appropriate types and levels of training that should be mandated and related costs. Additionally, provisions in this rulemaking would also be responsive to requirements of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act. MAP-21 requires a final rule by Oct. 1, 2013. This rulemaking was withdrawn to allow time to further study this issue.”
Public comments about the delayed rule (Docket No. FMCSA-2007-27748) may be made via www.regulations.gov.