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FMCSA Revises Nationwide Requirements for Commercial Vehicle Licenses

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers recently read a report on STNOnline.com which detailed a newly published rule for commercial vehicle driver’s license holders by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Effective December 5, 2011, the latest nationwide regulation requires that licensing agencies across the country adhere to new driver manual requirements for “receiving, recording, transmitting, and updating the physical descriptions of each Commercial Driver’s License holder, commercial and non-commercial driving status, medical certification status, convictions, disqualifications, and crash history.”

The new regulation was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through encompassing information developed in the newest edition of the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) State Procedures Manual. Created in 1988 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the CDLIS and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act determine the minimum standards for how states operate and issue commercial driver’s license. Failure to comply with these mandated standards by January 30, 2012, could potentially cause the defiant state to lose their federal highway funds.

According to FMCSA.dot.gov, even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determines the minimum standards that each individual state must meet regarding commercial driver’s licenses, administration and issuance of the licenses is left up to each state. States are permitted to determine the application process, license fee, license renewal cycle, renewal procedures, as well as, reinstatement requirements after disqualification under the condition that federally mandated standards are adhered to. On the other hand, states may go beyond federal standards for certain commercial driver’s license criteria, such as: medical, fitness, and other driver qualification.

Our Chicago semi truck accident attorneys know that when the federal government, as well as, state legislators enact rules and regulations pertaining to commercial vehicle drivers, it significantly aides in deterring the thousands of semi truck accidents that occur each and every year, in addition to, promoting safe vehicle operation. With over 3,200 lives lost in 2009 due to large trucks – according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the implementation of more rigorous licensing procedures will ensure that unsafe and unqualified drivers will be prohibited from operating 80,000 pound vehicles on our roadways.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you or a loved one has been involved in an Illinois semi truck accident due to an unsafe or negligent semi truck driver, please contact an Illinois semi truck accident lawyer. Our experienced accident attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to help determine what legal rights and relief may be available to you.