On October 4, 2014, The New York Times published an editorial in support of ending the delays in issuing the long overdue “common-sense training standards for truck drivers.”
The editorial cites the large number of deaths that involve large trucks, approximately 4,000 people each year, for the urgency of issuing a rule for truck driver training.
A disproportionate number of highway fatalities involve large trucks, yet current federal standards are grievously lax. To get a commercial license to operate a big rig, drivers are only required to receive 10 hours of classroom lectures, pass a written test and take a brief road test. While some also receive hours of supervised behind-the-wheel training, many do not.
Last month, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, along with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, filed a lawsuit in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court to order Department of Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, to issue minimum entry-level training requirements. If the lawsuit is successful, rulemaking should occur within 60 days of the Court’s order and a final rule should occur 120 days thereafter. Although, as the editorial states,
It should not require a court order to persuade Mr. Foxx to do what should have been done more than 20 years ago.