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Truck driver training laws to take effect in 2020

Five months after it was supposed to take effect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rule about national standards for drivers is now law. The rule was delayed because of Trump administration-ordered regulatory reviews. However, although it took effect on June 5, there are almost three years before it must be followed. The rule will apply to drivers in Illinois and throughout the country who receive a commercial driver's license on or after Feb. 7, 2020.

Driver trainees and applicants for CDLs will be provided with a core curriculum. The FMCSA will maintain a registry of trainers who have been certified by the agency, and drivers must be trained by someone from this registry.

There is also a requirement for behind-the-wheel training. This final point has turned out to be controversial because the final rule does not set forth a minimum number of hours required. The original proposal called for 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, and this received a great deal of support from industry stakeholders, who have asked that it be reinstated.

Truck accidents may be caused by a number of things including a lack of driver training. Other causes may include a driver who is drowsy, careless, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In some cases, improper maintenance might be at fault. Drivers and their passengers in other vehicles who are injured in truck accidents might want to speak to an attorney about their rights. If the negligence of a truck driver who was working at the time has caused an accident, the trucking company might be held responsible to pay compensation to the victims if a personal injury lawsuit is successful.

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