The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is seeking public comments on a possible pilot program meant to allow young people between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicles) interstate.
FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, said in a statement, “We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry while maintaining the highest level of safety. We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers.”
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates that the trucking industry is short close to 50,000 drivers, and fleets have often looked to younger drivers to create more capacity.
According to the Federal Register, the FMCSA is seeking comments on two general questions:
- “What data are currently available on the safety performance (e.g. crash involvement, etc.) of 18-to-20-year-old drivers operating CMVs in intrastate commerce?”
- “Are there concerns about obtaining insurance coverage for drivers younger than 21 who operate CMVs in intrastate commerce, and would these challenges be greater for interstate operations?”
“Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
The American Trucking Associations praised the FMCSA for their efforts in capturing public opinion on a pilot program meant for young nonmilitary drivers.
ATA President, Chris Spear, said, “Allowing younger drivers, who are already moving goods intrastate, to drive interstate is a common-sense step that has support not just from the trucking industry, but from a broad coalition. Between FMCSA’s proposed pilot project and the bipartisan support for the Drive-SAFE Act in Congress, we hope we will soon create a path for more young people to fully participate in our industry.”