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New truck driver training standard

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved a rule dealing the training of commercial driver license applicants in California and around the country. The rules met with support from trade groups who helped create them. They became effective on June 5, but there is a compliance window of close to three years. Commercial driver's license applicants who receive them on or after Feb. 7, 2020 will be subject to the rule.

The FMCSA rule establishes a mandatory training curriculum. It includes classroom instruction as well as behind the wheel training. Those providing training must be certified by the FMCSA and will then be listed on the agency's rolls. This also applies to trucking companies that have their own training facilities.

One aspect that was contained in the original proposal but does not appear in the final rule was a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training an applicant must have to obtain a license. Thirty hours were originally proposed, and some industry lobbyists are asking the FMCSA to reinsert that provision.

The trucking industry is highly regulated, and for good reason. Trucking accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of smaller and lighter vehicles. As a result, federal agencies have developed certain rules and regulations that are designed to reduce the number of such incidents. In addition to the new training mandate, there are limits on the number of consecutive hours that a truck driver can be on the road as well as rules dealing with rest breaks. However, some trucking companies skirt these requirements in an attempt to cut down on expenses or to meet a tight schedule. A person who is injured in an accident that can be attributed to non-compliance with federal trucking regulations might want to have the assistance of a lawyer when seeking compensation from the carrier.

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