Truckers hope training requirements will move forward

Sep 20, 2013, 15:24 ET from Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's largest organization representing professional truckers, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, hopes that the agency that oversees motor carrier safety regulations will move quickly in implementing minimum training standards for new CDL holders since announcing plans to begin a new proposal process.

Currently, there are no training requirements for truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently withdrew its rulemaking notice, originally published in 2007, because of issues raised at FMCSA listening sessions earlier this year and new directives contained in MAP-21, the current highway funding law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

"Since the agency's past approach to driver training has been untargeted and low on the priority list, we hope that this is an opportunity for them to follow the path our professional and experienced members have suggested," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.  

While the Association sees the withdrawal as a step back in the effort to enact mandatory entry-level driver training, OOIDA also sees an opportunity in advancing its Truckers for Safety agenda, which includes an in-depth driver training proposal for long-haul truckers.

"Many of the issues the agency raises in this withdrawal notice are clearly lined out in our Truckers for Safety agenda," Spencer said. "With commonsense measures like ensuring that new drivers are trained by experienced trainers, our proposal should serve as a good starting point for FMCSA. Experienced and safe truckers made it quite clear to FMCSA during the listening session last spring: Entry-level driver training should be a top safety priority of the agency."

The Truckers for Safety program will be highlighted at the Association's 40th Anniversary celebration, the Heart of America Trucking Show, Oct. 18-19, 2013, at the Kansas Speedway.

OOIDA is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business truckers and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association