Steps designed to ensure that the drivers of buses and trucks are qualified and adequately trained could save many lives, and road users in North Carolina rely on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish the amount and type of training that must be completed before a commercial driver’s license can be awarded. Human factors play a role in most fatal motor vehicle accidents, and the FMCSA announced a proposal on March 4 that would establish a new curriculum for novice commercial vehicle drivers.
The proposed rule changes would see CDLs only granted to drivers who have spent 30 hours or more being trained while behind the wheel. At least 10 of these hours must be spent on closed courses designed to test vehicle control in a number of driving situations. The proposals also call for drivers to be shown how to perform vehicle inspections before setting out on a journey, and they will also be required to attend road safety classes.
The public will be given 60 days to submit comments about the proposed regulatory changes to the FMCSA, and the safety agency will then make any changes prompted by these comments before submitting the proposal to the White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The rules will be implemented three years after they have been approved and published in the Federal Register.
Commercial vehicle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, and those who have been harmed may want the help of legal counsel in seeking compensation when negligent behavior can be established. Personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits against commercial vehicle operators when accidents are caused by drunk, distracted or drowsy driving, but trucking companies could be named as a defendant when lax supervision has played a role.