Large trucks, such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks, maintain an important role in commerce and the transportation of goods, materials and animals. Because of that, residents in Montana and elsewhere will frequently share the roads with these large trucks. Since truck drivers require special licensure to drive these massive vehicles, it is presumed that truck drivers, new and seasoned, have the skills and ability to drive large trucks. Despite that, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a new minimum training standard for entry-level truck drivers.
What are the proposed trucking regulations for new truck drivers? The proposal has three key components. The first is to establish a required core curriculum for individuals seeking a Class A or Class B commercial driver's license (CDL). The second is to require entry-level drivers to complete 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training prior to obtaining their CDL. The third key component is to establish a registry for DOT-approved driver trainers, as well as driver training schools.
In order to implement these new requirements, it is estimated to cost the industry an estimated $5.5 billion over a 10-year period from 2020 to 2029. While drivers will bear the bulk of the costs of these proposed new rules, the agency believes the perceived benefits of these rules will mitigate these costs. DOT says that this training will result in more efficient driving techniques, lowered environmental impacts and less severe truck accidents.
Improving the training of entry-level drivers is an effective way to improve truck safety and reduce truck crashes. Because negligence, such as distractions and driver fatigue, could result in serious collisions, it is essential that federal trucking regulations reflect ways to mitigate these dangers.
Those involved in a truck accident should understand that he or she might have recourses available to them. If the investigation reveals that a truck driver was responsible, liability could be placed on the driver through a civil action.