WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Todd Young, R-Ind., applauded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for advancing the 18 to 21-year-old truck driver pilot program. This program will allow 18 to 21-year-old truck drivers to operate in interstate commerce, as they currently do in intrastate commerce. The pilot program includes a number of safety requirements, such as advanced technology in trucks, an accompanying experienced driver, and the participation of motor carriers with a safe record.
“If a 19-year-old can safely drive a truck from one end of our state to the other, federal law should allow the same young American to drive across state lines,” said Wicker. “Implementation of this important provision will help address driver workforce challenges, which are particularly important given the ongoing supply chain transportation disruptions. Though I have concerns about the Registered Apprenticeship program requirement, I appreciate FMCSA’s work to advance this important program.”
“Today, 18-year-olds can drive more than 200 miles from New Albany to Gary and back, but they aren’t allowed to drive two miles from New Albany to Louisville,” said Young. “My DRIVE-Safe pilot program will address the driver shortage, provide new career opportunities for young Hoosiers and Americans, and make the roads safer. We have faced a truck driver shortage for years, but it has now reached a crisis level as we witness major supply chain bottlenecks across all sectors. I commend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for acting swiftly to establish this program.”
The 18 to 21-year-old truck driver pilot program was based on Senator Young’s DRIVE-Safe Act, which was introduced in February 2019. The pilot program was included in the Senate Commerce Committee’s Surface Transportation Investment Act that was part of the bipartisan infrastructure law.