Entry-level driver training rule expected by end of December

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The Department of Transportation, in its monthly regulatory update, projects two trucking-related rules to be published by the end of the year.

The Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule, which cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Dec. 14, is projected to be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 29. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking cleared the OMB a day before it was projected to, so it’s possible it could appear in the Federal Register before the DOT’s projected date.

The SFD rule would implement a carrier scoring system that FMCSA would use to rate carriers and target those deemed unsafe.

A proposed rule on entry-level driver training is projected by the DOT to clear the OMB on Friday, Dec. 18, and to be published in the Federal Register Dec. 28. This is unchanged from November’s projections.

The exact language of the rule is unknown until it’s published, but the rule will flesh out minimum standards for training truck operators, likely including behind-the-wheel training requirements and more.

A Final Rule to implement a CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is projected to be sent to the OMB on Jan. 5. The rule will establish a database of CDL holders that have failed or refused a drug test and require carriers to upload this information to FMCSA. It would also require carriers to query the database when hiring drivers.

A rule to mandate the use of speed limiters on trucks has been with the OMB since May 19, and the OMB clearance and publication dates have not been updated since November. The rule was projected to clear OMB on Nov. 25 and publish on Dec. 3. This rule could require governors on all trucks weighing over 27,000 pounds.