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U.S. Truck Drivers Must Be Proficient in English

August 9, 2007

U.S. roadside traffic cops are being told by transport authorities to place out-of-service any truck drivers with low English language proficiency, Today’s Trucking reports. A guidance issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines how to deal with commercial drivers operating in the U.S. who do not properly understand, read, or communicate in English, as required by the Department of Transportation. According to the DOT rule, commercial drivers must be able to read English, converse with the public, understand highways signs and signals, respond to official inquires, and make entries on reports or records. Although the regulation has been in effect for nearly forty years, it was not considered an OOS violation until 2005. However, even then, officers were only instructed to cite drivers and not place them OOS for not being up to speed on English, until now. According to Today’s Trucking, the amendment, which applies to any commercial truck driver hauling in the U.S. except Mexican truckers limited to the 20-mile commercial zone beyond the southern border, is effective immediately.
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