Federal Trucking Regulators Introduce Two New Rules:

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association) announced last week the new rules for drivers.  The first change is in the training requirements for truck and bus drivers.  The prior proposal would have required truck drivers to complete 30 hours of training at the wheel before they were even eligible to complete the commercial driver license test.  However the new rule states that training hours are determined by the instructor’s evaluation and how well the trainee performs the driving procedures.  A score of 80% is required to pass the evaluation.  The second rule announced allows motor carriers the chance to document when a new hire either refused or had failed their new driver drug and alcohol tests.  This rule additionally requires that employers routinely check the database against current employees to see if drug or alcohol violations occurred in the past that would decrease their ability to complete ‘safety-sensitive’ functions as part of their driver duties.  Both rules go into effect in the coming months, but do not require compliance until the year 2020.  This lengthy period is to allow the necessary time to design the technology that would be needed.  It will be required that the new driver must give consent before their name is checked in the database.  If an employee does test positive for drugs or alcohol, they must complete the return-to-duty drug/alcohol rehabilitation process before they can begin working again.  Read the full article in the Transport Topics Magazine issued week of December 12, 2016.