The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations governing minimum standards for entry-level truck driver training are inadequate based on the record developed during the rulemaking process, a federal appeals court ruled today.
The minimum requirements adopted last May by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration involve only classroom education and in only four areas: medical qualification and drug and alcohol testing; hours-of-service regulations; wellness; and whistleblower protection.
The court said: “The (FMCSR staff's) Adequacy Report determined that effective training for CMV drivers required practical, on-the-road instruction on how to operate a heavy vehicle. But FMCSA ignored this evidence and opted for a program that focuses on areas unrelated to the practical demands of operating a commercial motor vehicle.”
Most of the time Public Citizen and their ilk are just bozos when it comes to trucking, but this is a case where they are on the side of the angels. The FMCSA seems to have set a pattern of doing the very least possible, or less, and only after being sued into action. There has to be a happy medium between trying to put the industry under and giving it carte blanche. The industry is right that few folks want to be without income for a couple of months while they train, but that doesn't outweigh highway safety (and getting drivers fully trained might cut down on the number of new drivers who quit or fail because of accidents or needless tickets.