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New trucker training rules in effect

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency that oversees commercial transportation in the United States. Part of the responsibility of the FMCSA is driver training and safety. The agency is expected to ensure that all truckers are properly trained so as to reduce the risk of accidents once on the road. Public safety is a primary goal of the training requirements.

As of March of 2017, a new set of rules and program governing trucker training went into effect. Full compliance with the new program is not mandated until February of 2020. The program is referred to as entry-level driver training and it includes provisions for the training required for a person seeking a first Class A or Class B commercial driver's license. It also outlines requirements for anyone wishing to upgrade their commercial driving privileges from one class to another. People wanting to receive a first-time endorsement to operate school buses, passenger vehicles or vehicles carrying hazardous materials will also be required to complete certain training.

For most purposes, the training will require a combination of theoretical learning and actual driving time, referred to as behind-the-wheel training. For theory training, drivers must achieve at least an 80 percent on any exams. BTW training is not measured by hours driven but is deemed passed based solely upon the assessment of the person providing the training. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give California residents an overview of the new requirements and structure for training commercially licensed drivers set forth by the FMCSA.

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