Until recently, states made their own rules about what you needed to do to get a commercial driver’s license. Many would argue Colorado made it too easy.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has moved to set minimum standards across all states. It means getting a commercial license in Colorado will now be more challenging than before.
Some may argue that is a bad decision. Trucking companies already struggle to find drivers, and increasing the requirements could dissuade people from applying. However, driving a truck comes with incredible responsibility. One false move could take out several other vehicles. For the safety of all road users and the drivers themselves, it makes sense to ensure that getting a license is not too easy.
The rule change adds an extra element of training
Applicants must undergo the FMCSA’s entry-level driver training program with a certified trainer. To pass the training, they must score at least 80% in their assessment. If that means some people do not get a license, it’s a good thing. The standard needs to be high to keep people safe.
Who has to complete this new training course?
Anyone applying for a new license must pass the course. So must anyone seeking to upgrade their commercial driver’s license or get it endorsed to allow them to drive school buses or transport passengers or hazardous material.
The rules will not be enforced retroactively. If you are hurt in a collision with a truck, get legal assistance to check when the driver qualified. If they passed before the rule change, you might be able to highlight their lack of training as a contributing factor to the crash.