The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a rule that contains changes to the commercial driver’s license training requirements. The rule became effective on June 5, 2017, but drivers, companies and training organizations have until February 2020 to be in full compliance with the new law. The training requirements will only apply to new drivers who receive their CDLs on or after Feb. 7, 2020. These changes are seen as a benefit to overall driver safety in Kentucky and throughout the United States.
The rule was delayed five months due to a regulatory review by the Trump administration. It benefits CDL training and improves safety and consistency by creating a core curriculum. It also requires some behind-the-wheel training and mandates that applicants receive training only from people and companies registered and approved by the FMCSA. Companies that have their own trainers and training facilities will also have to be in compliance with this aspect of the rule.
The rule was also altered from its original version, and one change has received criticism from those in the industry. Initially the rule required 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, but the number has been removed.
While the new training requirements are likely to improve safety and standards across the industry, they might also affect lawsuits involving truck accidents. With a set standard for driver training, there may be instances in which an accident is due to improper training of the trucker behind the wheel. This could lead to an attorney who is representing a plaintiff who has been injured in a collision to consider naming the trainer as an additional defendant.