Last night, the House of Representatives voted down an amendment that would lower the minimum age of interstate truckers from 21 to 18.
The amendment was voted down 181-248 in spite of the fact that many lawmakers had safety concerns about allowing younger drivers to travel interstate. Democrats argued that the DOT should study the safety impact of lowering the minimum age before passing the bill: “Given the higher accidents and fatality rates of younger drivers, it makes no make sense to make this change without looking at all of the data.”
Republicans, however, pointed out that many states already allow 18-year-old drivers. They said that the amendment would just allow them to cross state lines.
ATA President Bill Graves was in favor of the amendment as a solution to the perceived truck driver shortage. He noted that “the ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges.”