Washington — A group of House Republicans is moving to repeal a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration final rule that stipulates minimum training requirements for entry-level truck drivers.
Reintroduced on July 19 by Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), the Trucking Workforce Improvement Act (H.R. 4738) would rescind the rule, which sets minimum training standards for first-time applicants for Class A or B commercial driver’s licenses or those seeking a CDL upgrade to Class A or B. The bill has 14 co-sponsors.
The rule further establishes standards for drivers aiming to obtain hazardous materials, passenger or school bus endorsements for the first time. Affected entry-level drivers must complete training from a provider listed on the Training Provider Registry before taking a CDL skills test.
In a press release, Good calls the rule “regulatory overreach” and cites as impetus for the bill a perceived driver shortage that has long lingered as an industry debate.
“My bill will remove obstacles to entry for aspiring truck drivers, enable more opportunities for well-paid jobs and unleash the American economy,” he said.
The final rule was initially published in December 2016, with an effective date of Feb. 7, 2020. That date was later pushed back to February 2022.
Jack Van Steenburg, executive director and chief safety officer at FMCSA, suggested the shortage was a myth while speaking about the rule when it went into effect.
“With an increasing number of people applying for CDLs over the past year, there has never been a more important time to implement minimum uniform training standards that ensure new drivers have both the knowledge and skills to operate safely,” he said in a press release. “The ELDT regulations were developed with input from driver and training organizations, motor carriers, state licensing agencies, safety advocacy groups, and insurance companies.”
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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication