Basic Skills Driver Training Debate Opens – Again.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken its first step forward in years on the issue of entry-level driver training. The administration announced Tuesday, Aug. 19, that it will seek input from stakeholders on what a possible training rule should look like, but will gather that input a little differently than it typically does.

FMCSA published a notice in the Federal Register to announce that the administration is exploring the feasibility of using a “negotiated rulemaking,” which involves hiring a “convener,” which is a type of moderator, who will meet with stakeholder groups and report their talking points back to the administration.

FMCSA would then use the convener’s report to develop a final rule.

This process differs from the standard “notice of proposed rulemaking” and request for public comments that typically precedes a final rule.

The history of driver training for truckers – and the lack of a specific behind-the-wheel standard for new drivers – goes back decades.

FMCSA came close with a 2007 proposed rule to set classroom and behind-the-wheel standards for entry-level truckers, but the proposal never made the transition to final rule.

Congress approved a highway bill in 2012 that included a provision to require the administration to issue a final rule on driver training. FMCSA officially scrapped its 2007 proposal in 2013 and started over in the process.