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FMCSA's CDL Testing Proposal Aims to Enhance Highway Safety

Young truck driver sitting behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) certification process requires drivers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in operating large and potentially hazardous vehicles. This ensures that only qualified individuals are allowed to operate these vehicles on public roads, which is critical for highway safety and preventing truck accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced a series of proposed modifications to the CDL testing process that aims to streamline issuance. At the same time, these modifications will maintain safety and the integrity of CDL knowledge testing.

What are the key proposed modifications for highway safety?

The key proposed modifications include:

  • Expansion of testing flexibility: CDL applicants will be allowed to take their skills test in states other than the state they reside in.
  • Relaxing supervision requirements: Commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders who have passed the CDL skills test can operate commercial vehicles on public roads without the presence of a qualified CDL holder in the passenger seat.
  • Reduced waiting period: The 14-day waiting period to take the CDL skills test after obtaining a CLP will be eliminated.
  • Enhanced examiner standards: Third-party knowledge examiners will be required to meet the same training, certification, and record check standards as state examiners, along with auditing and monitoring requirements.
  • Passenger endorsement removal: CMV drivers will no longer need a passenger endorsement to transport CMVs designed to carry passengers, such as school buses, in certain conditions.

What impact will these proposals have on highway safety?

According to the FMCSA, these changes will help alleviate CMV driver shortages, stabilize supply chains, and provide regulatory relief without compromising safety. Several of these proposals have been previously granted as exemptions. The pandemic-induced waivers for third-party testing, 14-day eligibility, and out-of-state testing regulations highlight the need for these reforms.

Additionally, FMCSA is renewing a five-year waiver for the MirrorEye Camera Monitor System by Stoneridge, effective from February 13, 2024, to February 12, 2029. This system serves as an alternative to traditional rear-vision mirrors. It's touted to enhance visibility and reduce blind spots. The MirrorEye has been successfully deployed in over 1,000 North American vehicles and has covered an estimated 100 million miles without incident.

Seeking legal help after a truck accident in Ohio

Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks and other large vehicles can wreak havoc on our roadways. They can cause widespread damage, injuries, and even deaths. That’s why it’s critical that CDL drivers and trucking companies take measures to promote safety. If they fail to do so, they could be held accountable when a crash occurs, and someone is injured or dies as a result.

If you've been injured or a loved one died in a truck accident in Ohio, seek legal representation from an experienced truck accident attorney to protect your rights. Gervelis Law Firm can walk you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing compensation. Our Ohio truck accident lawyers know how to investigate accidents involving commercial trucks, find the facts that matter, and build strong legal cases that get results.

In addition, we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we win your case. Don't let the aftermath of a truck accident overwhelm you, and don’t try to take on a trucking company alone. Get the support and legal help you need to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call our Ohio law offices to speak to one of our lawyers. We have offices in Columbus, Akron, Toledo, Youngstown, Canfield, and Warren.

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