Trucking Legislation

Senators propose lowering interstate trucker age to 18

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Washington – A group of senators is proposing to lower to 18 the minimum age for driving commercial motor vehicles across state lines.

Currently, drivers must be at least 21 years old to operate a CMV as part of interstate commerce. But Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and several others introduced a bill on July 9 that would allow licensed drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 to take part in an interstate pilot program. The Secretary of Transportation would be required to issue a report on the program within four years.

Drivers 18 and older already are allowed to operate CMVs within state lines. Advocates say expanding the boundaries could address a shortage of about 40,000 drivers in the industry.

“We know younger drivers can operate safely hauling freight within their respective states, but the Commercial Driver Act takes a step toward showing they can safely cross state lines as well,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in a press release.

Critics disagree.

“It is foolhardy and fraught with serious and unacceptable risks to allow 18-year-olds to get behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck on high-speed interstate highways for long hours,” Parents Against Tired Truckers founder Daphne Izer said in a press release.