FMCSA extends comment deadline on driver training proposal

Posted on April 3, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the deadline for comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on training for CDL applicants to May 23.

The proposed rule would require all CDL applicants who expect to drive out of state to submit a certificate from an accredited training facility indicating that they have completed 90 hours of training in order to be licensed. For school bus drivers, this training would be in addition to their state-mandated training requirement.

Earlier this year, the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) collected data on training costs for school bus drivers and has since submitted comments on the NPRM. NSTA officials said that based on the association's data, FMCSA underestimated the cost of the NPRM to the school bus industry by $88 million in the first year and by nearly $600 million in the 10-year accounting period.

Moreover, because carriers currently provide free state-mandated training for school bus drivers, association officials said that implementing the proposed rule would substantially increase costs for carriers and exacerbate the driver shortage. For these reasons, NSTA urged FMCSA to exempt school bus drivers from the NPRM’s training requirement.

NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin also commented on the proposal in the latest episode of NAPTV. Like NSTA, Martin said that implementing the NPRM would negatively impact the industry and make it more difficult to recruit drivers.

He argued that while FMCSA believes the proposal will impact a small component of the industry because it is intended for drivers who will be driving between states, the opposite is true.

“At the general, baseline level, we want everyone to be trained the same, so from our perspective that theory doesn’t hold a lot of water,” Martin said. “We’re going to have to train everybody to [meet] this new standard.”

He encouraged viewers to get involved by reading the proposal and viewing the comments that have been submitted thus far.

To read or comment on the NPRM, click here.


Related Topics: CDL, driver training, FMCSA, NAPT, NSTA

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