Training rules for new truckers may be implemented

Louisiana road users may be happy to hear that, on March 4, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule that would increase the amount of training prospective truckers would have to undergo before they could receive their commercial driver's license. The training would include 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

In addition to the proposed core curriculum and mandatory behind-the-wheel training requirements, the rule would also set up a registry of training providers that would be approved by the FMCSA. These training providers would be required to meet certain qualifications set forth by the FMCSA.

The theoretical portion of the course would teach potential commercial drivers how the vehicle operates, how to perform an inspection of the vehicle, how the vehicle should be controlled under different road and weather conditions and crash procedures. The course would also include a section on fatigue awareness. The driving component would require the drivers to spend 10 hours on the driving range. The instructors will determine where the other 20 hours will take place but the hours must include training on public roads or 10 different road trips that are no less than 50 minutes each.

Although the proposed rule could prevent truck accidents due to increased training, it will be some time before it is implemented. While many truck accidents are caused by inexperienced drivers, many others are the result of fatigued drivers who have been pushed by their employer to be on the road for more consecutive hours than is allowed by the federal government. When that is the case, an injured victim might want the help of an attorney for seeking compensation from the at-fault trucking company.

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