Thursday, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed pilot program modeled after Senator Young’s Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act. The DRIVE-Safe Act would establish an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce by commercial driver’s license holders under the age of 21.
“In the same vein as the DRIVE-Safe Act, DOT’s proposed pilot program is also firmly based on transportation safety. Per the Department’s regulation of commercial vehicles, safety is the primary purpose and goal, and the proposed program will take significant steps to ensure the safe and efficient movement of interstate commerce,” the Senators wrote. “Today, 49 states and the District of Columbia allow commercial drivers under the age of 21 to operate in intrastate commerce. As established by the new pilot program, the robust training regimen goes far beyond what is currently required for 18-to-20-year-old commercial driver’s license holders. This will not only set the stage for improving safety on our roads, but will also lead to a highly trained, talented, and safety-focused workforce across the industry.”
The Senators added, “Without question, the mobilization of the trucking industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how critical its workforce is to the economy and our emergency response supply chain. Turning to the future, we are hopeful that this pilot program will reinvigorate this essential workforce, ensuring that the trucking industry is well-equipped to confront the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and any future health crisis.”