The FMCSA and freight broker training school is considering lowering the minimum age for commercial truck drivers across the US to 18. This project caused disputes between representatives of various transport organizations and associations.
The American Association of Carriers has supported a project to reduce the age requirements for truck drivers. The association argues that there is currently a shortage of commercial vehicle drivers. The situation is expected to deteriorate significantly in the next decade if no action is taken.
On the other hand, a number of organizations that are fighting to improve safety on US highways have criticized the idea of allowing 18-year-old boys and girls on trucks. Jackie Gillan, board member of Citizens for Safe and Safe Roads, explained that the number of crashes involving young people between the ages of 18 and 21 has increased in recent years.
The FMCSA has prepared a number of requirements for the admission of young boys and girls to drive goods vehicles:
– Possession of a commercial driver’s license;
– mandatory probationary period (at least 120 hours);
– after the end of the probationary period, young drivers must undergo an internship (280 hours) with the employer;
– the carriage of passengers and dangerous goods will be prohibited;
– driving cars of a special configuration will be prohibited.
Recall that today persons aged 18 to 20 are allowed to drive trucks, but only within their state. FMCSA has developed a bill and a test program that will allow transportation throughout the country. The bill has now been sent to Congress for consideration.
Kevin Kramer, Senator from North Dakota, expressed support for the proposed project. The senator stressed that the youth of North Dakota are particularly hardworking and stress-resistant, which will help them in this work.
The American Carriers Association stressed that having basic requirements for young drivers would “make life easier” for trucking companies. The president of the association said he was absolutely confident that such young truck drivers would easily deliver cargo from one state to another.