Personal Injury

Trucking Regulations: FMCSA Proposes Streamlining CDL Testing Process

A man sitting behind the wheel of a semi-truck.

In recent years, the trucking industry has faced driver shortages and increased safety regulations. Addressing the driver shortage while preventing truck accidents requires a balanced approach. On February 2, 2024, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed revisions to existing Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) testing procedures.

The organization aims to streamline CDL issuance by:

  • Improving program flexibility and enhancing the employment prospects for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in a shorter timeframe.
  • Upholding safety and uniformity in the administration of CDL knowledge tests, especially those conducted by third-party examiners.
  • Facilitating more efficient transport of unoccupied passenger CMVs.

What are the proposed modifications to existing trucking regulations?

The proposed modifications include several key changes, including:

CDL skills testing for out-of-state applicants

This allows applicants to take the CDL skills test in states other than their home state or the state where they received CDL training.

Flexibility for CLP holders

This allows commercial learner's permit (CLP) holders to drive commercial vehicles on public roads without a qualified CDL holder in the passenger seat after passing the CDL skills test.

Removal of the 14-day wait period for CLP holders

This change bypasses the 14-day waiting period for CLP holders to take the CDL skills test.

Regulations for third-party knowledge testers and examiners

This change requires third-party knowledge examiners to adhere to the same training, certification, and record check standards as state knowledge examiners. It also subjects third-party knowledge examiners to the same monitoring and auditing standards as third-party skills testers.

Operation of empty passenger CMVs

This change eliminates the requirement for CMV drivers to obtain a passenger endorsement to operate a commercial vehicle.

How will these proposed changes help?

Several of these proposed changes have previously been enacted as temporary exemptions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when state driver’s license agencies faced operational and staffing challenges. This includes operational flexibility for CLP holders and third-party testing regulations.

The FMCSA believes these changes will help:

  • Address the commercial motor vehicle driver shortages.
  • Stabilize the supply chain.
  • Offer regulatory relief without compromising safety.
  • Ensure the integrity of third-party CDL knowledge testing.

Additional FMCSA updates to trucking regulations

The FMCSA has also renewed a five-year waiver for the MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) by Stoneridge. This will serve as an alternative to traditional rear-vision mirrors. This renewal was made effective on February 13, 2024, and will run until February 12, 2029.

The MirrorEye system includes multiple digital cameras and video processing software. It offers enhanced visibility and has been reported to eliminate blind spots and increase the field of view by approximately 25%.

It also features a self-cleaning mechanism for its lenses. Since its initial exemption in 2019, the MirrorEye system has been installed in over 1,000 vehicles across North America. This covers an estimated 100 million miles without any reported incidents linked to the system.

Injured in a truck accident in Texas? Let our attorneys fight for your rights

Truck accidents can be devastating and often lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Truck accident cases are also often highly complex and involve multiple parties. While you're suffering from an injury and financial devastation, you may not know which course of action to take.

With Tracey Fox & Walters, you're not just getting a lawyer. You're gaining a dedicated advocate who will thoroughly investigate your truck accident and fight for the justice and financial compensation you rightfully deserve.

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