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New CDL rule now in effect

New Jersey truck drivers who get their commercial drivers licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020 will be required to abide by new training rules. The rule went into effect on June 5, and carriers and other stakeholders must also be in full compliance with it by February 2020. Drivers must take behind-the-wheel training to get their license, and trainers must be part of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration registry.

Carriers that provide their own training program will need to meet FMCSA requirements to be part of the national registry. One controversial part of the law revolved around the minimum number of hours a driver needed to spend behind the wheel. The rule initially set a minimum of 30 hours, but it was taken out of the final version, which means that there is currently no minimum. Lobbyists from the trucking industry would like to see it reinstated.

In a truck accident, occupants of other vehicles may incur injuries that require extensive medical care and treatment, during which they are unable to work. If the accident was caused by an impaired, distracted or otherwise negligent driver, the victims may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse they may have.

A personal injury attorney can look at the official police investigation report and examine other evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and cell phone records to pinpoint responsibility. In some cases, the trucking company itself may be responsible for the victim's losses, such as when it failed to properly train the driver or was lax in the maintenance of the vehicle.

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