Highway Funding Bill Passes: Pilot Program To Allow 18-Year-Old CDL Holders, With Provision

Congress Advances Bill To Make Current HOS Rules Permanent

A compromise, of sorts, has been reached between those who support allowing 18 year olds to operate a CMV and those who don’t.

Yesterday, a measure was introduced to the $305 billion highway bill that will lower the minimum age for truck drivers from 21 to 18.  The newly revised proposal states that in order to obtain a CDL  under the age of 21, prospective CDL holders must be current or former military members.

“By restricting the three-year teen trucker pilot program to veterans and servicemen above the age of 18, Congress greatly restricted the amount of higher-risk drivers that would be allowed to drive trucks across state lines,” Truck Safety Coalition Executive Director John Lannen said in a statement.

The bill was introduced to help combat the “driver shortage.”

Missouri Representative, Sam Graves told the media “It’s good news that Congress has created an opportunity for young veterans to transition to the trucking industry. We are, however, disappointed that qualified, young, non-military CDL holders cannot have the same opportunity because we believe it is illogical to allow these younger drivers to operate in intrastate commerce in each of the 48 contiguous states, but not let them cross state borders.”

Also approved in the bill was allowing carriers to conduct hair follicle testing.