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Proposed Rule

Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators; Public Listening Session

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice of public listening session.


FMCSA announces that it will hold a public listening session to solicit ideas and information on the issue of entry-level training for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, the Agency solicits input on factors, issues, and data it should consider in anticipation of a rulemaking to implement the entry-level driver Start Printed Page 13608training (ELDT) provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Wherever possible, the Agency requests that participants indicate whether the ideas identified are supported by research or data analyses, including cost/benefit considerations. The entire day's proceedings will be webcast.


The listening session will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013, from 1-5 p.m., ET. If all interested in-person participants have had an opportunity to comment, the session may conclude earlier.


The listening session will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209, 502-367-5000, in Room C101. In addition to attending the session in person, the Agency offers several ways to provide comments, as enumerated below.

Internet Address for Live Webcast. FMCSA will post specific information on how to participate via the Internet on the FMCSA Web site at one week before the listening session.

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2007-27748 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received, without change, to, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you would like acknowledgment that the Agency received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line.

Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket Management System published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2010 (75 FR 82132).

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For information concerning the listening session or the live webcast, please contact Ms. Shannon L. Watson, Senior Advisor for Policy, FMCSA, (202) 385-2395.

If you need sign language assistance to participate in this ELDT listening session, contact Ms. Watson by Monday, March 18, 2013, to allow us to arrange for such services. FMCSA cannot guarantee that interpreter services requested on short notice will be provided.

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The session will allow interested persons to present comments and relevant new research on ELDT. All comments will be transcribed and placed in docket FMCSA-2007-27748 for FMCSA's consideration.

I. Background

In the early 1980s, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Motor Carriers, predecessor to the FMCSA, determined that there was a need for technical guidance in the area of truck driver training. Research showed that few driver training institutions offered a structured curriculum or a standardized training program for any type of CMV driver. A 1995 study entitled “Assessing the Adequacy of Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Training” (the Adequacy Report) concluded, among other things, that effective ELDT needs to include behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction on how to operate a heavy vehicle.

In 2004, FMCSA implemented a training rule that focused on areas unrelated to the hands-on operation of a CMV, relying instead on the commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills tests to encourage training in the operation of CMVs. These current training regulations cover four areas: (1) Driver qualifications; (2) hours of service limitations; (3) wellness; and (4) whistleblower protection. In 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the Agency was arbitrary and capricious in promulgating the 2004 rule because it ignored the BTW training component aspect of the 1995 Adequacy Report.

On December 26, 2007, FMCSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on enhanced ELDT requirements (72 FR 73226). In the NPRM, FMCSA proposed revisions to the standards for mandatory training requirements for entry-level operators of CMVs in interstate operations who are required to possess a CDL. The proposal would apply to drivers who apply for a CDL beginning 3 years after a final rule goes into effect. Following that date, persons applying for new or upgraded CDLs would be required to successfully complete specified minimum classroom and BTW training from an accredited institution or program. The FMCSA proposed that the State driver-licensing agency would issue a CDL only if the applicant presented a valid driver training certificate obtained from an accredited institution or program. The Agency indicated the rulemaking would strengthen the Agency's ELDT requirements in response to the 2005 DC Circuit Court decision.

Since the publication of the NPRM, the Agency has completed its review of the public responses to the proposal and initiated new research concerning driver training. The Agency has also begun exploring new alternatives for mining Motor Carrier Safety Management Information System (MCMIS) data and Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) data to attempt to assess the safety performance of new CDL holders compared to that of more experienced CDL holders. In addition, in response to the public comments, the Agency has reexamined the regulatory options presented in the 2007 NPRM, as well as its estimates of the driver population who would be subject to the requirements. As a result, the Agency has concluded that additional stakeholder input will be useful in determining the most appropriate path forward for an ELDT rulemaking.

Section 32304 of MAP-21 requires that FMCSA issue final ELDT regulations by October 1, 2013, establishing minimum ELDT requirements for operators of CMVs. The listening session at the Mid-America Truck Show will provide an opportunity for motorcoach operators and other interested parties to share with FMCSA their ideas, especially as they relate to the training needs for Start Printed Page 13609individuals seeking a passenger endorsement.

II. Meeting Participation and Information FMCSA Seeks From the Public

The listening session is open to the public. Speakers' remarks will be limited to 5 minutes each. No pre-registration is required. The public may submit material to the FMCSA staff at the session for inclusion in the public docket, FMCSA-2007-27748.

III. Alternative Media Broadcasts During and Immediately After the Listening Session on March 22, 2013

FMCSA will webcast the listening session on the Internet. The telephone access number and other information on how to participate via the Internet will be posted on the FMCSA Web site at one week before the listening session.

FMCSA will docket the transcripts of the webcast and a separate transcription of the listening session that will be prepared by an official court reporter.

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Issued on: February 20, 2013.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2013-04487 Filed 2-27-13; 8:45 am]