FMCSA Announces Establishment of Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee

On Wednesday, December 9, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to establish an entry-level driver training advisory committee. The FMCSA would like the committee to negotiate and develop proposed regulations to implement Section 32304 of MAP-21 concerning entry-level driver training for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) operating in interstate or intrastate commerce. The committee will include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that are affected significantly by the subject matter of the proposed regulations.

The FMCSA anticipates that these parties will include driver organizations, CMV training organizations, motor carriers of property and passengers and their associations, State licensing agencies, State enforcement agencies, labor unions, safety advocate groups, and insurance companies. This notice provides notice to parties who seek to serve on the committee, and seeks comment on the proposal to establish the Committee and on the proposed membership. All comments and nominations must be received by January 9, 2015.

The FMCSA Administrator will appoint approximately 20 Committee members, including representatives of FMCSA, who will each serve for up to one two-year term. The Committee is expected to meet from February – June 2015 for approximately 1-2 days every 2-3 weeks, or as necessary.

This rulemaking committee will be engaged in a consensus-based process regarding, but not limited to, the following issues:

1. Development of minimum training requirements for individuals applying for a CDL for the first time or upgrading from one class of CDL to another class;
2. Determining the amount of behind-the-wheel training and classroom instruction;
3. Gathering and provision of data to quantify the costs and safety benefits of training;
4. Accreditation vs. certification of ELDT programs and schools;
5. Contents of driver training curricula, including separate course modules for motor coach and passenger carriers, as well as hazardous materials carriers;
6. Instructor qualifications and requirements; and
7. A performance-based approach vs. a minimum hours of training approach, as well as simulation training and special considerations.