Instead of becoming effective February 6, this coming Monday, the entry-level driver training rule has been "temporarily" delayed until March 21 because of President Donald Trump's regulation freeze, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Wednesday in a Federal Register Notice.
A memorandum from Reince Priebus, assistant to the president and chief of staff, to heads of executive departments and agencies had earlier noted the “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” and referred to regulations that had been sent to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) but not published to be “immediately withdrawn from the OFR for review and approval” by the new administration.
FMCSA rulemakings either issued as final or in the proposed stage — ELDs, speed limiters and the drug and alcohol clearinghouse — were not in the freeze categroy. But the entry-level driver training rule was.
And even before the Federal Register notice the training rule had had its difficulties.
One of the key tenants among the recommendations from the Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC) appointed by the FMCSA was a required minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training with at least 10 hours of training on a driving range and 10 hours on the open highway.
Safety advocates on the ELDTAC thought 30 hours weren't enough but the committee eventually settled on that number. After the rule was published, some truckers, including trainers, commented that the number of training hours was not nearly sufficient.
The 30-hour minimum behind-the-wheel training requirement was intact in the final rule when issued by FMCSA but was stripped from the regulation by the Office of Management and Budget, a source close to the rulemaking told The Trucker.
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