Sunday, October 17, 2010

    FMCSA Considering Requiring Commercial Drivers To Know English

    October 6, 2010 by Truckdrivernews · 1 Comment 

    Anne S. Ferro, head of the FMCSA and the former head of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, was the guest speaker at Cecil College’s 10th-annual Mid-Atlantic Transportation and Logistics Institute Symposium on Friday.

    Michael Feehley of the Maryland Transportation Authority asked Ferro if her agency is doing anything to standardize states’ English-proficiency requirements for commercial drivers. States currently vary in how they require commercial drivers to be English-proficient.

    “English proficiency requirements are a dialogue that we are currently having,” Ferro said. “Because if the driver cannot comprehend the basic commands, then it puts law enforcement officers at risk.”

    It was my understanding that this was/is a requirement to hold a CDL within the US now. Part 391.11: part (b) (2) Can read and speak English sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in English, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records.

    And if the driver is living within the US one of the eligibility requirements to become a US citizen is: Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

    With that said – why is this even a discussion? It’s already written in the “DOT’s Bible.” When US drivers cross the borders they must comply with that country’s laws. It should be no different when a foreign driver crosses our border – they should comply to US laws and regulations.

    Since truck drivers are federally mandated by all these rules and regulations these states need to make up one test for acquiring a commercial driver’s license. And it should NOT be given orally period.

    © 2010, Truckdrivernews. All rights reserved.



    One Response to “FMCSA Considering Requiring Commercial Drivers To Know English”
    1. Todd McCann says:

      Once again, I agree with your assessment. I thought that being able to read, write and speak English was already a requirement to get a CDL. If it is, I’m sure it’s not enforced.

      I’m sure all of us truckers have been stuck in the fuel desk line while some poor cashier tries to get some non-English speaking driver to tell her his truck number. That bugs me to no end.

      Todd McCann


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