The proposal to require truckers for an in-depth training was withdrawn last week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This proposal was submitted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) at the FMCSA listening sessions. OOIDA is the largest organization of professional drivers and small business truckers in the Nation. It has more than 150,000 members nationwide.
The said reason for the withdrawal was that, during listening sessions at FMCSA, “MAP-21” issues fill most of the agenda. MAP-21 or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act contained new rulings and it had been the top priority during the listening sessions earlier this year.
Todd Spencer, the OOIDA Executive Vice President said, “Since the agency’s past approach to driver training has been untargeted and low on the priority list, we hope that this is an opportunity for them to follow the path our professional and experienced members have suggested.”
OOIDA is confident about their proposal for in-depth training of truckers since the FMCSA regulation does not contain anything about training. The training is focused on potential truck drivers aspiring for a Commercial Driver’s License.
In the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, it clearly states the following:
- making it illegal for CDL holders to possess more than one license;
- requiring States to adopt knowledge and skills testing to ensure that individuals required to have a CDL are qualified to operate heavy trucks and buses
- establishing minimum licensing standards and information requirements for the CDLs that States issue.
This is why aspirants of CDL have to pass written tests, in order to show how skillful and knowledgeable they are in the State’s road policies that comply with the Federal standards. Most importantly, it does not require any CDL truck drivers for training, and this is what OOIDA wants to put in as a rule.
Spencer would like to see a more practical training approach for truck drivers. “Many of the issues the agency raises in this withdrawal notice are clearly lined out in our Truckers for Safety agenda. With common sense measures like ensuring that new drivers are trained by experienced trainers, our proposal should serve as a good starting point for FMCSA. Experienced and safe truckers made it quite clear to FMCSA during the listening session last spring: Entry-level driver training should be a top safety priority of the agency,” he said.
Despite the withdrawal, OOIDA is still hopeful and sees it as another opportunity to promote an alternative proposal that focuses on an entry-level training for truckers. The proposal is centered on long-haul truckers of the “Trucker for Safety” agenda.
The “Trucker for Safety” plan is deemed to be emphasized on October 18-19, 2013 during the Association’s 40th Anniversary celebration. “Heart of America Trucking Show” at the Kansas Speedway will be the highlight of the celebration. On its second day, October 19th, the FMCSA Administrator will be attending and will serve as the guest speaker. In addition, she will also be presenting OOIDA’s Safe Driver’s Awards.