Have the entry-level driver training regulations had an impact on drivers? That’s one of the questions the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like to get answered.
On Sept. 21, a notice was posted to the Federal Register by FMCSA. In the notice, the administration announced its plan to submit an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget regarding a project titled “Effectiveness of Third-Party Testing and Minimum Standards for the CDL Knowledge and Skills Test.”
The proposed project would conduct a survey of 51 respondents – one from each state and one from Washington, D.C. – to determine the validity of third-party testing and the impact of the entry-level driver training program. The project will have an estimated cost of $4,749.63.
According to FMCSA, the project is intended to address the following research questions:
- Is there evidence of increasing or decreasing fraud among third-party examiners based on the pass rates and subsequent safety history of CDL holders who were tested by third-party testers?
- Are there significant differences in the outcomes of third-party testing on CDL testing?
- Would it be feasible to conduct a future study on the safety impacts of delegating CDL knowledge testing to third-party testers based on available data?
- How do the driving histories of drivers who received behind-the-wheel training (pre-ELDT requirements) compare to drivers who completed the new entry-level driver training requirements?
- How do the driving histories of drivers who received theory instruction (pre-driver training requirements) compare to drivers who completed the new requirements?
- How do skills test pass rates of drivers before entry-level driver training compliance compare to pass rates of drivers after the compliance date?
- Are there identifiable safety benefits that have been realized by the adoption of the 2005 AAMVA CDL Test Model?
- Are there external factors preventing state driver licensing agencies and the CDL community from achieving the full potential of safety benefits of the 2005 AAMVA CDL Test Model?
Essentially, the administration wants to know two things.
First, if third-party CDL training and testing sites offer the same level of accurate and compliant testing as jurisdictional sites. Secondly, are the entry-level driver training regulations – which went into effect in February 2022 – having an impact on drivers?
“The use of third-party entities to conduct training and examinations helps with increasing examiner capacity and reducing delays in drivers being issued CDLs,” the notice read. “However, a challenge for FMCSA and jurisdictions is that to date, there is limited research available correlating driver performance with the type of training received (jurisdiction or third party).”
FMCSA is asking for public opinion on the proposed information collection. They are seeking comments regarding:
- Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA’s functions.
- The accuracy of the estimated burden.
- Ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information.
- Ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information.
Public comments regarding the notice must be received on or before Nov. 21. Comments should be identified by Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0174 and can be submitted online here. LL