Safety & Compliance

FMCSA Withdraws Driver Training Proposal, Will Start Over

September 18, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is withdrawing its proposed rule for entry-level driver training and will start over with a new proposal.

The agency explained in a Federal Register announcement that there are substantive problems with the proposal it has been working on since 2007.

Comments on the proposal and recommendations from an advisory panel led the agency to conclude that it has to start over again.

The proposal would have required both classroom and behind-the-wheel training for applicants for a commercial license.  

While most of the 700 comments on the proposal supported the concept of the training, views on the details were mixed, the agency said.

Some industry groups, for example, objected to the agency’s plan to require a specific number of training hours rather than a performance-based approach.

Also, there were objections to the agency’s plan to require driver training schools to be accredited by an agency recognized by the Education Department or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Some said that the accreditation process would be too long and costly, and would not necessarily lead to better training.

In addition, some urged the agency to consider adding a graduated licensing system to the proposal, and others were concerned about how the behind-the-wheel portion of the training would be conducted.

Finally, the agency noted that last year’s highway bill added additional requirements to the regulation. It says the rule must establish a training regime that addresses safety performance and hazmat operations, and it must certify that applicants and trainers meet federal standards.

These add up to a significant change of direction for the rule, the agency said.

The agency does not spell out a schedule for a revised approach. It says it will solicit comments on what Congress ordered in last year’s highway bill. And it has two research projects under way on entry-level training, each looking at different aspects of the relationship between training and safety performance. 

Related Stories:

"On the Road" Blog: Mandatory Entry-Level Driver Training: Is There a Better Way?

FMCSA Advisory Panel Takes on Driver Training

CDL Schools Say Proposed Training Standards Would Make Driver Shortage Worse


  1. 1. Bob [ September 18, 2013 @ 11:44AM ]

    So it has taken 6 years for them to conclude that they do not know how to train someone to be a truck driver. Seems like a big waste of their time and tax payers money.

  2. 2. Bryan Spoon [ September 18, 2013 @ 11:46AM ]

    Once again the government brushes aside any legislation that truly impacts safety on the roads. They are more worried about making lil Johnny take his mandatory 30 min break or the BMI and average neck size of drivers. These regulations are making a joke of our industry.

  3. 3. Gary [ September 18, 2013 @ 12:04PM ]

    What a joke.

  4. 4. David Blakeley [ September 18, 2013 @ 12:31PM ]

    I am senior driver and now a Master Instructor in an accrediated school. There must be a standard set of training for new drivers. Setting hours not so much. Hours can be defined by the subject of training. Safety is the main goal of training,not a CDL. Everybody learns differently. We need guide lines. However many years they took to come to that decision,is too long. How long to we have to waiit now? What is it going to take to act?

  5. 5. David POli [ September 18, 2013 @ 01:45PM ]

    I am very disappointed the ruling was 2007 its 2013 what are we waiting for? Does safety have a deal line? If we agree this is needed its time to put a plan in action now not another 6 years from now. Drop the politics and the bleeding heart B.S Do something!

  6. 6. James Franklin [ September 18, 2013 @ 09:45PM ]

    Past present and, future training has and, will always be centered on safety! The decay of our infrastructure is the number one cause of accidents! Truck routes through major cities and, beltways are to hazardous even for the most experienced drivers! Corruption at all levels of Gov't has destroyed previous efforts to make and, keep trucking safe! As with Toll roads managed by foreign bidders. Other nations will now come in and, undercut all US efforts. Trucks themselves are no longer being made successfully in the US. Foreign designers are at work on next generation of trucks and, training will be conducted by them. US dropped the ball! Americans have corrupted their own abilities! They spend too much time inspecting and, writing reports and, delaying because of budget constraints. Chicago San Francisco New York are prime examples. Put Miami and, the DC mess is there and, all you HAVE IS ONE BIG nightmare! 1/2 to 2/3rd's of Americans live on the I 5 , I 10, I 95 I80 I70 corridors and, they are all total messes. No instructor on earth can teach even storm troopers how to stay safe in these nightmare's. In France Paris has ambulances at every traffic circle. We are at that point here. Give hazardous duty pay to every driver in these corridors. Until the infrastructure is repaired forget training. Give driver's routing for safest times in and out of these nightmare cities. Give hazard duty pay until highways are repaired. Give emergency training with full egress and, prepare rest zones in congested area's with FMCSA managing safe passages for all carriers. Mandatory wait locations during heavy storms and, congestion. Mandatory winter wait zones! With refresher skills for icy roads and, black ice. Put link trainers at the winter wait zones. Let no driver through until they have completed refresher training. Every winter accident has been documented upgrade driver's.

  7. 7. Todd [ September 20, 2013 @ 04:10PM ]

    I've been with two large LTL companies over the past 31 years (one bought the other) and we have always had a training program.It didn't matter if you had no experience or 10 years you still went through so form of training,if you work the dock and only have a Class C licence and got into the training program than you have 4 to 6 weeks of book and performance based education (in-yard and on the street ,city and road driving) getting at least 40 -60 hours of stick time (driving) If we have been doing our training sucessfully for this long, and I know other LTL's and TL's do it why can't our appointed goverment officals just follow our lead and do the same and create similar programs ?

  8. 8. John [ September 23, 2013 @ 08:36PM ]

    Way to go fed gov't. You could have actually put some kind of SAFETY rule into effect, especially after working on it for 6 years! Unlike the too-fast decision on the 30 minute break, the 34 hour restart being used once per week, and especially the requirement of 2 consecutive days from 1-5 am. We knew we could depend on you to make a good choice!

  9. 9. Night Tripp [ November 08, 2013 @ 01:56AM ]

    The answer to testosterone replacement,.. WISDOM.

  10. 10. Paul [ December 04, 2013 @ 06:17AM ]

    Is it the gov't or the trucking companies and their associations that have held training captive to the cost rather than the goal. Listen to these folks assessment of how training should be and their ultimate goal is to get someone into a lease purchase program. Along with speed limiters, eobr's and increased medical criteria, i.e. ROI, safety takes a back seat. Maybe if we the drivers armed ourselves with facts and opened our mouths in a meaningful dialogue bwe could change the status quo. Look at the proposed graduated licensing proposal of several years ago. Safety costs too much.


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