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Truck driver training rule takes effect

Florida truck drivers may know that, following a five-month delay, a rule that sets national training standards became law that was effective as of June 5. The rule comes with a three-year compliance window and will apply to those receiving their CDLs on or after Feb. 7, 2020, and after.

The rule establishes a core curriculum that new CDL applicants and truck driver trainees must be taught. The rule requires behind-the-wheel training. CDL applicants will have to receive their training from driver trainers who have been approved by the FMCSA. Under the rule, the trainers, including carriers who offer training at their own facilities, will have certain criteria that they must meet before they can be approved by the FMCSA.

Stakeholders played a major role in developing much of the rule. However, the final iteration drew criticism as a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training was not established. Originally, the rule proposed a minimum of 30 hours. This included both course time and on-road training. Trucking lobbyists have reportedly urged the FMCSA to reestablish the minimum behind-the-wheel training time minimums.

Truck drivers are responsible for following certain federal rules which are designed to reduce the number of serious truck accidents. These rules include taking a certain number of breaks on long trips, properly loading cargo and properly maintaining the vehicle in addition to following the general rules of the road. If the negligence of a truck driver or carrier is the cause of an accident, occupants of other vehicles could suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical attention. The victims might subsequently want to meet with an attorney to see how they can seek compensation for their losses.

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