A new proposed pilot program is looking to recruit 18 to 20-year-old drivers to address the nationwide truck driver shortage.
Proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the project's initiators are looking to receive feedback from vested stakeholders and the trucking industry over the prospects of allowing 18 to 20-year-old's to secure CDL licenses and drive across states.
Fill in the Gap
It will project safety rates for 18 to 20-year-old drivers versus 21 to 24-year old drivers in a pilot test using 50 fleets, split between both age groups, with a final proposal submitted to the White House's Office of Management and Budget later this year.
At the moment, the 2015 FAST Act highway bill mandates only intrastate driving, with an exception recommended for National Guard and Reserves members in good standing.
"Men and women do a great job of performing that task for the military so the question is why are they not allowed to do that same job in the civilian life," said Elaine Chao, US Transportation Secretary in an Omaha, Neb. introductory meeting. "There are people who feel if you are young, you somehow will drive the vehicle in a less safe way. We do not feel like that is the case but we don't want to pre-judge," she added.
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