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FMCSA announces commercial driver's license rule delay

Pennsylvania residents may be interested in learning that one of Donald Trump's first actions after moving into the Oval Office was to order government agencies to wait 60 days before implementing any new federal regulations. The president's Jan. 20 memorandum prompted the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to announce that a rule concerning the training required for someone to obtain a commercial driver's license would not go into effect on Feb. 6 as planned.

The president says that the memorandum was issued to give him enough time to decide whether or not pending regulations are justified, and the FMCSA announcement indicates that further delays are possible should Trump or senior members of his administration have issues with the Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Vehicle Operators rule. However, even protracted delays are not likely to be a major concern for road safety groups.

The regulation, should it be implemented, will apply only to commercial vehicle operators who obtain commercial driver's licenses from Feb. 7, 2020, onward. However, the provisions of the rule have been widely criticized by groups including the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. These groups welcome the establishment of a national registry of certified commercial vehicle instructors and setting of a core classroom curriculum, but they are disappointed that the FMCSA has not included a minimum amount of time that trainee truck drivers must spend behind the wheel.

Experienced personal injury attorneys may point out that the enforcement of road safety regulations is just as important as their implementation. When truck accidents are caused by mechanical failures or unsafe conditions, attorneys may study the FMCSA violations committed by truck drivers and their employers to establish a pattern of negligent behavior.

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