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Just days before the long-awaited entry-level driver training rule was set to go into effect, the FMCSA has extended the compliance date a full two years – from February 7, 2020 to February 7, 2022. The delay, which some have been anticipating for a few months, will give the agency more time to finish developing the Training Provider Registry (TPR).

Related Article: Are You Ready for the Driver Training Rule?

“The TPR will allow training providers to self-certify that they meet the training requirements and will provide the electronic interface that will receive and store entry-level driver training certification information from training providers and transmit that information to the state driver licensing agencies,” the FMCSA reported.

It will also give the states extra time to put the required systems and procedures in place so that they can pull information about drivers from the registry and ensure they’ve met the new entry-level training rules.

The industry has been asking for a set of entry-level driver training standards since the 1980’s, but it wasn’t until the MAP-21 highway bill was passed in 2012 that the rule was mandated. Many large fleets, safety advocates and industry groups saw this rule as a step towards improving highway safety and have expressed their disappointment with the delay. Although they recognize that many reputable training companies have already implemented curriculum to meet the new driver training standards, they say that there are still plenty of “CDL mills” that are more concerned with churning out drivers than teaching safe driving.

Once it goes into effect, the new standards will focus on driver qualifications, hours of service, driver wellness and whistleblower protection. You can read more about the new ELDT standards here.

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