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August 30, 2016 7:00 PM, EDT

FMCSA Sends Entry-Level, Driver-Training Rule to White House for Review

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent its version of a final rule on entry-level driver training to the Office of Management and Budget for review on Aug. 29, OMB said.

FMCSA published a proposed version of the rule in March, after going through a negotiated rulemaking process, including major industry stakeholders such as American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, driver-training schools and safety advocacy groups. The agency then took public comment on the proposal before sending a final version to OMB.

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The Department of Transportation has been working on creating training standards for entry-level commercial drivers since 1985.

A part of the White House, OMB reviews all rules before they are published in final form in the Federal Register. OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or OIRA, does the reviews and then sends a final version back to the original regulatory agency, in this case, FMCSA.

The proposed rule said students seeking a Class A commercial driver license should get a minimum of 30 hours of training behind the wheel, with at least 10 of those hours on a driving range. Of the remaining time, 10 hours would have to be on a public road or 10 public road trips — each being at least 50 minutes.

The proposal did not specify a minimum number of hours driver trainees should spend in the classroom.

ATA said its staff will meet with OMB during the review to highlight its concerns with the proposal.