Feds propose new training requirements for bus and truck drivers

The Obama administration on Friday proposed new training standards for commercial truck and bus drivers.

Under the news rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers would have to log a certain number of hours behind the wheel in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

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To obtain a Class A CDL, which is required to drive a tractor-trailer type vehicle that weighs 26,001 pounds or more, a driver would have to complete 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training with and instructional program that meets FMCSA standards. Of the 30 hours, 10 must be on a practice driving range.

For a Class B CDL, which is required to operate a heavy straight trucks like a dump truck or box truck, and a school bus, city transit bus or motorcoach, drivers would have to log a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training. Of the 15 hours, seven hours would have to be on a practice driving range.

“Well-trained drivers are safer drivers, which leads to greater safety for our families and friends on our highways and roads,” Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony FoxxPrivate sector has a responsibility to address infrastructure deficit Five infrastructure emergencies DC Metro must complete urgent repairs before starting rehab effort MORE said in a statement.

“With the help of our partners, today’s proposal serves as a major step towards ensuring that commercial vehicle drivers receive the necessary training required to safely operate a large truck or motorcoach.”

The new rules would apply to first-time CDL applications, current CDL holders that want a upgrade their license and previously disqualified drivers now looking to re-acquire a CDL license.

Military drivers, farmers and firefighters are exempt from these federal CDL requirements.