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Federal rule aims to improve truck driver training

Federal rules for truck driver training are going into place that will affect new drivers in North Carolina and across the United States. The national training standards had been delayed for five months after the Trump administration ordered the regulations reviewed. The new rules, which became effective on June 5, have a compliance window that lasts for nearly three years.

Carriers and trainers have until February 2020 to be in compliance with the rule. The training rule will apply to all commercial driver's licence applicants who receive their CDLs on or after Feb. 7, 2020. The new rules create a core curriculum that must be taught to driver trainees and CDL applicants. It also mandates behind-the-wheel training and creates a list of federally-approved trainers. CDL applicants must receive their training from certified trainers on the registry.

The training reforms were widely supported inside the trucking industry. Some worry, however, that the final rule doesn't contain a mandatory minimum time for behind-the-wheel training. An earlier draft of the rule would have required at least 30 hours of training behind the wheel, including time on a course and time on the road. However, a number of safety groups and trucking industry groups are urging that the rule be revised to include this minimum period of behind-the-wheel training.

Insufficient training is only one kind of safety violation that could put other passengers and drivers on the road at risk due to trucking accidents. Collisions can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of other smaller vehicles. People who have been harmed in such an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company might want to have legal help when attempting to obtain compensation for their losses.

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