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Truck Renting and Leasing Association

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Transportation Safety Board Suggests CDL Requirement for Trucks Less Than 26,001 Pounds.

The federal National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday suggested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) evaluate requiring drivers of trucks weighing less than 26,001 pounds to hold Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL). This major recommendation is one of many suggestions that came out of the NTSB's meeting on June 4, 2013, which was held to discuss a pending NTSB report on crashes involving single-unit trucks that resulted in injuries and deaths. Such a requirement would negatively impact the operators of millions of single-unit trucks including many small businesses and individuals needing to rent trucks for moving personal household goods.
 
The CDL requirement was one of sixteen specific recommendations expected to be made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the FMCSA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Most of the recommendations involved the development of performance standards and safety equipment mandates for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.  These included asking for the development of standards and mandates for blind spot detection systems and side and rear underride protection systems for new straight trucks. The NTSB also requests that the federal government require single-unit trucks already in service to be retrofitted with a broader array of lamps, reflective devices and other visibility-related safety equipment currently required for truck tractors and trailers.
 
"Vehicle safety and security is the number one priority for the truck renting and leasing industry," said TRALA President and CEO Tom James. "Millions of small businesses, families, and military personnel rely on the availability of safe light and medium duty rental trucks. Requiring a CDL of all of these drivers will severely limit their options for responsibly meeting their own transportation needs."
 
The NTSB staff is still in the process of finalizing its report on crashes involving single-unit trucks and expects to send formal recommendations to the various federal agencies "as soon as possible."  To see an executive summary of the draft report discussed at the NTSB's June 4 meeting, click here. For questions, contact TRALA's Jake Jacoby at jjacoby@trala.org or by calling (703) 299-9120.