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New rule takes aim at threat of unqualified truck drivers

Inexperienced truck drivers will be seeing some changes to training in Colorado and throughout the United States thanks to a new federal rule. However, it will not go into effect until February 2020.

The rule for driver training for commercial driver's license applicants was delayed for five months. The Trump administration imposed regulatory review before approving the rule, which has widespread support from the trucking industry itself. CDL applicants who receive their licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020 must follow the new procedure.

Under the federal trucking regulation, all driver trainees and CDL applicants must receive a core training curriculum. In addition, some level of behind-the-wheel training, including course time and on-road time, is mandatory. This training must be provided by a trainer on a newly-created federal registry. In order for trainers and carrier training centers to be added to the registry, they must become federally certified to deliver the training.

However, while behind-the-wheel time is mandatory under the new regulations, there is no specific number of hours that new drivers must spend receiving instruction and training behind the wheel. Instead, readiness to receive a license is measured by a standard of proficiency used by the trainers. This has been criticized by many industry stakeholders.

Unqualified or poorly trained truck drivers present a real threat to safety on the road for people in other vehicles The massive size and weight of commercial trucks can result in serious injuries to those who are involved in such a collision. When it can be determined that the accident resulted from negligence on the part of the trucking company or driver, an attorney could be of assistance to injured victims in seeking compensation for their losses.

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