Road users in South Carolina and around the country rely on government rules and regulations to ensure that heavy commercial vehicles like buses and semi-tractor trailers are safe and their drivers qualified and properly trained. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes the requirements that must be before a commercial driver’s license can be issued, and the agency proposed rules on March 4 that would change the way commercial vehicle operators are trained.
The FMCSA is proposing a new curriculum for trainee truck drivers incorporating classroom sessions and time behind the wheel in a number of situations. The changes call for novice drivers to undergo a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training and to learn about vehicle safety systems and inspection procedures. The rules would require at least 10 hours of driving time to be spent on closed courses designed to test a driver’s skills in a number of situations.
If approved, the new rules will go into effect three years after being published in the Federal Register. Publishing takes place once approval has been obtained from the White House and the Department of Transportation. The first stage of the regulatory process is a 60-day review period during which the general public are invited to make comments and suggestions.
Those involved in big rig accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical care and treatment. When these types of accidents are caused by a distracted, fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver, an injured victim might want to have the assistance of counsel in seeking compensation from both the driver and the trucking company for medical expenses and other losses that have been sustained.