Will Young Truckers Be Taking the Wheel?

A new bill that would open interstate trucking opportunities to drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 was introduced in the US Senate on August 16. The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy, or DRIVE-Safe Act, the same name attached to a similar House bill introduced in March, proposes a two-step program for potential young drivers to complete once they obtain a valid commercial driver’s license.

The bill, designed to alleviate a serious shortage of drivers facing the trucking industry, will also enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. Like the House bill, the proposed law requires these drivers to complete 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab after earning a commercial driver’s license. An apprenticeship program would help provide younger drivers with training beyond current standards while instituting rigorous safety and performance protocols.

The legislation requires that trucks used for a training program be equipped with safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, a video event capture system, and a speed governor set at 65 mph or below.

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