49 U.S.C. § 31305 - General driver fitness, testing, and training

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 31305
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR TESTING AND FITNESS.-The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on minimum standards for testing and ensuring the fitness of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle. The regulations-

(1) shall prescribe minimum standards for written and driving tests of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle;

(2) shall require an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle to take a driving test in a vehicle representative of the type of vehicle the individual operates or will operate;

(3) shall prescribe minimum testing standards for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle and may prescribe different minimum testing standards for different classes of commercial motor vehicles;

(4) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests has a working knowledge of-

(A) regulations on the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(B) safety systems of the vehicle;

(5) shall ensure that an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle carrying a hazardous material-

(A) is qualified to operate the vehicle under regulations on motor vehicle transportation of hazardous material prescribed under chapter 51 of this title;

(B) has a working knowledge of-

(i) those regulations;

(ii) the handling of hazardous material;

(iii) the operation of emergency equipment used in response to emergencies arising out of the transportation of hazardous material; and

(iv) appropriate response procedures to follow in those emergencies; and

(C) is licensed by a State to operate the vehicle after having first been determined under section 5103a of this title as not posing a security risk warranting denial of the license.

(6) shall establish minimum scores for passing the tests;

(7) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under regulations prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the extent the regulations apply to the individual; and

(8) may require-

(A) issuance of a certification of fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle to an individual passing the tests; and

(B) the individual to have a copy of the certification in the individual's possession when the individual is operating a commercial motor vehicle.

(b) REQUIREMENTS FOR OPERATING VEHICLES.-

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle only if the individual has passed written and driving tests that meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section to operate the vehicle and has a commercial driver's license to operate the vehicle.

(2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations providing that an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle for not more than 90 days if the individual-

(A) passes a driving test for operating a commercial motor vehicle that meets the minimum standards prescribed under subsection (a) of this section; and

(B) has a driver's license that is not suspended, revoked, or canceled.

(c) STANDARDS FOR TRAINING.-Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, the Secretary shall issue final regulations establishing minimum entry-level training requirements for an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle-

(1) addressing the knowledge and skills that-

(A) are necessary for an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle; and

(B) must be acquired before obtaining a commercial driver's license for the first time or upgrading from one class of commercial driver's license to another class;

(2) addressing the specific training needs of a commercial motor vehicle operator seeking passenger or hazardous materials endorsements;

(3) requiring effective instruction to acquire the knowledge, skills, and training referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2), including classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction;

(4) requiring certification that an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle meets the requirements established by the Secretary; and

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