Wheels of Justice
DOT-proposed minimum training
requirements for entry-level
On Dec. 26, 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued their proposed rule for new entry-level CDL drivers.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.
FMCSA is proposing changing the mandatory training requirements for entry-level CDL drivers in interstate operations. This proposed new training would not apply to current CDL drivers or those that obtain a CDL up to three years after the final rule goes into effect. After that three-year grace period, any person applying for a new or upgraded CDL would be required to complete minimum classroom and behind-the-wheel training from an accredited school or program. This rule would prohibit any state from issuing a CDL if the applicant failed to produce a valid Driver Training Certificate from an accredited school or program.
Any comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before March 25, 2008. Your comment must include: FMCSA-2007-27748, your name and address or email address to be considered. You can submit your comments at www.regulations.gov, by fax at 202-493-2251 or by mail at Docket Management Facility, U.S. DOT, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Simulator training is currently not a substitute for behind-the-wheel training; therefore, simulator training is not accepted under this proposed new rule.
Upon the successful completion of the required training, the entry-level trainee would receive a Driver Training Certificate that includes information about the driver, the training institution and is signed by an official of the training institution. The trainee would present this official certificate as part of their application process for a CDL from the state. The state would be required to review the certificate, include specified data from the Commercial Drivers License Information System (CDLIS), and retain a copy for their records.
I believe that every CDL driver should think about this proposed rule. I recommend that you offer your ideas to the government on how to make new drivers safer, speed up their training and any way you can think of to save the trucking industry money.
This proposed rule will make your CDL much more valuable, and carriers will be looking for good drivers. To take advantage of this situation, you should go the extra mile and protect your CDL from any moving or non-moving convictions. The first step is to obey all the traffic laws and company policy.