The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking for more information about entry-level driver training, as part of its effort to craft a rule.
The agency is asking for comments on a plan to survey newly licensed drivers about the relationship between their training and their safety performance.
The survey will supplement other research the agency is conducting as it attempts to fulfill a congressional mandate to write a rule prescribing training requirements.
Despite years of effort the agency has not been able to come up with a proposal that all of the interested parties could agree on. Earlier this year it sidestepped the issue by hiring a negotiator to see if there is enough common ground among carriers, driver groups, trainers, state agencies, safety advocates and insurance companies to find consensus.
Almost immediately, safety advocates and the Teamsters union sued to force the agency to go ahead with the rulemaking.
Now the agency wants to fill an information gap.
“There is no national database that contains or collects data on the training received by drivers,” the agency said.
“The goal is to obtain a better understanding of the amount and type of training (the drivers) received.”
Specifically, the agency wants to know about the relationship and impact of the training the driver got in order to qualify for a commercial license compared to any subsequent training by his employer.
The agency wants comments on the survey proposal by January 6.