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Federal trucker training rules seek safety improvement

The federal government is taking steps to ensure that new truck drivers in South Carolina and across the United States have received more training. However, the new rules fail to create a mandatory minimum for behind-the-wheel training hours, instead using a controversial proficiency standard.

The rule is going into effect at the federal level after five months of delays caused by regulatory reviews by the Trump administration. It is effective as of June 5; however, there is a compliance period of nearly three years. Carriers and trainers have until February 2020 to implement the rule; it will apply to all applicants who receive their commercial driver's licenses (CDL) on or after February 7, 2020.

The rule includes three key parts. First, a core curriculum is established that all CDL applicants and driver trainees must be taught. Second, some behind-the-wheel training is now a requirement, though it is not specified how many hours are necessary. Third, this training must be delivered by trainers on a federally approved list. To be part of this list, trainers for truck drivers must meet specific guidelines and receive a certification.

Some have criticized the new regulation for eliminating a proposed 30-hour mandatory minimum for behind-the-wheel training. This would ensure that CDL applicants and new drivers had experience driving semi trucks, including on-road time and course time. Instead, the new rule relies on a standard of proficiency rather than emphasizing minimum hours.

Establishing and improving training for new and inexperienced drivers is particularly important because truck accidents can be devastating. Trucking accidents can cause serious personal injuries, including permanent disability, to other drivers and passengers on the road. A personal injury lawyer could help to protect the interests of people who have been injured in a collision with a truck. A lawyer may be able to help accident victims receive compensation for their pain and suffering and the medical bills caused by the trucking accident.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
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