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Truck driver training rule goes into effect

Oklahoma truck drivers may be interested to learn that a rule that sets national standards for CDL applicant training became law on June 5. However, the rule provides a lengthy window before trainers, carriers and other stakeholders must comply.

The rule establishes a core curriculum that trainers and carriers will be required to teach CDL applicants and other truck driver trainees. Additionally, there is required behind-the-wheel training, and CDL applicants must get their training from FMCSA-approved trainers. All truck driver trainers, including carriers who maintain their own training facilities, have until February 2020 to get themselves on the registry.

Although the rule has received broad support from key stakeholders, the final iteration of the rule was heavily criticized due to the fact that the rule did not specify a minimum number of hours of behind-the-wheel training. The original proposal said that CDL applicants would be required to have a minimum of 30 hours of such training, which would include course time and on-road time. However, trucking lobbyists and stakeholders have urged the FMCSA to reestablish the minimum.

Due to their overwhelming size and weight, big rigs are capable of causing serious injuries to occupants of other smaller vehicles that are involved in a collision. Victims may require extensive and costly medical treatment, during which they in many cases are unable to work. If it can be proven that such an accident was caused by a truck driver who was poorly trained, an attorney could assist a victim in seeking compensation for those and other losses through a lawsuit naming the trucking company as a defendant.