Last week, a new bill was introduced in the Senate to study the effects of allowing 18-year-olds to drive trucks across state borders.
The bill presented by Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer would start a pilot program to study the effects of lowering the CDL age to 18.
ATA president Bill Graves says the move just makes sense: “It is illogical that a 20-year-old can drive the 500 miles from San Francisco to San Diego, but not the eight miles from Memphis, Tennessee to West Memphis, Arkansas – or simply cross the street in Texarkana.”
The bill is meant to help alleviate the driver shortage and encourage high school students to enter the trucking industry after graduation. With many current truck drivers looking toward retirement, the supporters of the bill hope that it will encourage younger people to consider trucking as a career.
Currently, an 18-year-old can drive trucks within a state’s borders but cannot cross over into another state. Additionally, an under 21 driver is not allowed to drive a truck within state borders if the freight originated from out of state or will eventually be heading out of state.
Journal of Commerce