New Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers Take Effect Amid Supply Chain Crisis

Tennessee Star

 

New federal regulations aimed to ”improve highway safety” by “ensuring that entry-level commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers complete training required by the new entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations” are now in effect, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

On Monday, entry-level CMV drivers will not be eligible to take their commercial driver license (CDL) test until successfully completing a specific program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or other entity listed on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new Training Provider Registry (TPR), the TDOT statement states.

The new rules contradict Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and 14 other governors’ November 2021 request of the federal government to “suspend outdated federal regulations” in a letter titled, “Operation Open Roads.” In the letter, as previously reported by The Tennessee Star, the governors ask the federal government to suspend what they called “burdensome” rules and make immediate changes to federal law that could relieve supply chain backlogs.

However, the new FMCSA’s ELDT regulations establish training requirements for entry-level CMV drivers applying to:

  • Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time.
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
  • Obtain a School Bus (S), Passenger (P), or Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

According to the press release, the ELDT regulations are not retroactive. Individuals who were issued a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement prior to February 7, 2022, are not required to complete training for the respective CDL or endorsement. An applicant who obtains a CLP prior to February 7, 2022, does not have to meet ELDT requirements. Once issued their CLP, the driver will have one year to meet requirements and obtain their CDL. Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test in 49 CFR Part 383 is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.

The new requirements come at a time when, according to the American Trucking Association, thousands of additional drivers are needed to ease the burden of a shortage that is plaguing the industry.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

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One Thought to “New Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers Take Effect Amid Supply Chain Crisis”

  1. Brenda Hutchens

    Just another liberal ploy to shut the economy down.

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