The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed changing Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL) requirements to require actual driver training.  Sure it seems like a radical idea to require drivers of 80,000 pound tractor trailers to have some training behind the wheel before they get on the highway, but the feds are here to help us, right?

For a "Class A" CDL (tractor-trailers), the proposed rule would require at least 76 hours of classroom training and 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training for a total of 120 hours. For "Class B" (large "box" or van trucks) and "Class C" CDLs (hazardous materials or certain passenger-carrying vehicles), the  rule would mandate a minimum of 58 hours of classroom training and 32 hours behind-the-wheel for a total of 90 hours. 

In 2004, FMCSA implemented a training rule that focused on areas unrelated to the hands-on operation of a CMV, relying instead on the CDL knowledge and skills tests to encourage training. These current training regulations cover four areas: Driver qualifications; hours of service limitations; wellness; and whistleblower protection. But in 2005 the DC Circuit held that the Agency was "arbitrary and capricious" in issuing the 2004 rule because it ignored an important conclusion of its own 1995 Adequacy Report, that behind-the-wheel training is essential.




The Shigley Law Firm  represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. His practice is concentrated primarily in products liability  — including industrial equipment — and motor carrier liability cases.