FMCSA Proposes Entry-Level Driver Training Rule, Considers Sleep Apnea Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is tackling two new rules aimed at enhancing the safety of commercial motor vehicle operations on the nation’s highways.

FMCSA on March 7 published its Congressionally mandated national training standards for entry-level truck and bus drivers that would revise the standards for new interstate and intrastate commercial vehicle operators to obtain a commercial driver license. Publishing the rule kicked off a 30-day comment period.

The agency also jointly published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) with the Federal Railroad Administration that could lead to a requirement that commercial drivers and railroad workers be evaluated for sleep apnea.

The joint ANPRM is the first step in considering whether to propose requirements specifically on obstructive sleep apnea.  The announcement opened a 90-day comment period that will include public information-gathering sessions in Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles. To read the ANPRM and submit comments, click here

Under the Entry-Level Driver Training Rule, applicants seeking a “Class A” CDL – necessary for operating a combination tractor-trailer type vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs. or more – would be required to obtain a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating the vehicle on a practice driving range.

Applicants seeking a “Class B” CDL – necessary for operating a heavy straight truck (such as a dump truck or box truck) – 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.

There is no proposed minimum number of hours that driver trainees must spend on the classroom portions of any of the individual curricula.

Current CDL holders seeking a license upgrade, for example a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL, or an additional endorsement to transport hazardous materials or operate a tank truck or pull double and/or triple trailers would be subject to the proposed entry-level driver training requirements and must complete a course of instruction.

Click here to visit the Entry Level Driver Training Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

Click here for more information on Entry-Level Driver Training. 





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Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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