FMCSA wants industry’s help in producing ‘reg neg’ driver training rule

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In an attempt to satisfy requirements of the current MAP-21 highway funding law, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it is checking the feasibility of producing a required entry-level driver training rule as a “negotiated rulemaking,” or “reg neg.”

The reg neg would allow stakeholders to participate in the rulemaking process as a means to expedite the creation of the rule. FMCSA says participants could include “driver organizations, driver training organizations, [carriers], industry associations, state licensing agencies, state enforcement agencies, labor unions, safety advocacy groups and insurance companies.” 

FMCSA’s proposed reg neg plan is accepting public comment on for 30 days, beginning Aug. 19. Click here to submit a comment. 

The agency has hired a convener to talk with interested parties about their ability to participate, it says.

To begin work on a reg neg rule for entry-level driver training, the agency says it needs to determine whether it can form an “appropriate advisory committee…that would fairly represent all affected interests.”

The convener hired by the agency — Richard Parker of the University of Connecticut School of Law — will be tasked with doing that, and he’ll submit a report to the agency on his findings.

The agency says if it does proceed with the reg neg process, it will establish a committee, per federal law, and publish a notice stating it will be taking comment on membership.

FMCSA had a rulemaking in the works until Sept. 2013, when it was pulled from its docket, based on changes required by MAP-21 and feedback from the agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

The agency published that proposed rule in 2007, but never issued a final rule after accepting public comment. 

That rule would have set standards for classroom training and behind-the-wheel training, and it would have barred states from issue CDLs unless applicants presented a valid certificate from an accredited training institution or program, the agency says.

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MAP-21 required the agency to produce the rule by Oct. 1 of last year.