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FMCSA working to make sure truck drivers are properly trained

When teenagers reach the seemingly magic age at which they are allowed to sit for their driver’s license test, the milestone can seem overwhelming for novice drivers and their parents alike. Certainly, it is convenient that teens can now drive themselves to their myriad of educational and social activities. However, it can also be frightening both for teens and their parents that these relatively inexperienced drivers are now allowed to operate potentially deadly machinery.

Proper education of novice drivers is critical to ensuring their safety and the safety of those that they encounter while on the road. Without proper safety training and monitored driver experience training, allowing novice drivers behind the wheel would be downright dangerous. And it would be all the more dangerous if novice drivers were seeking to operate massive trucks.

Despite the myriad of laws governing the education of novice teen drivers, novice truck drivers are not formally held to stringent requirements and oversight before they are allowed behind the wheel of large commercial trucks. Since 1985, the federal government has consistently maintained that novice truck drivers should be held to strict standards before they may operate large commercial vehicles. Despite this goal, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has yet to formalize a rule outlining minimum training standards for individuals seeking entry-level jobs as commercial truck drivers.

Thankfully, the FMCSA is trying yet again to make such a rule a reality. It is currently consulting with an advisory committee on the issue and will hopefully have a proposed rule ready as soon as is possible.

Source: Transport Topics, “FMCSA Again Targets Training-Standards Rule for Entry-Level Commercial Vehicle Drivers,” Jonathan S. Reiskin, Feb. 26, 2015

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