Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) and nearly 90 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives this week urged Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to allow certain 18-20-year-olds to operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
This, Loudermilk and other members of Congress said in a letter to Buttigieg, to help alleviate the nation’s growing supply-chain emergency. The representatives said there are too few truckers on the road to meet demands. They asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to proceed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Under-21 Commercial Driver Pilot Program.
“Currently, only Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders over the age of 21 can operate CMVs in interstate commerce. However, 49 states and the District of Columbia already allow 18-20-year-old CDL holders to operate CMVs in intrastate commerce,” Loudermilk and the other members of Congress wrote.
“Accordingly, Congress supported, and the Trump administration began, the process to implement the FMCSA’s Under-21 Commercial Driver Pilot Program to allow drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. This new pilot program would create a road map to drastically increase the number of truck drivers and alleviate the current crisis. Yet, the DOT has not taken action to move this program forward.”
FMCSA officials proposed the program in a press release last year. They said at the time that this program would require that 18-to 20-year-old CDL holders who operate CMVs in interstate commerce participate in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period under an apprenticeship program established by an employer. This, or 19- and 20-year-old commercial drivers must have a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles operating CMVs in intrastate commerce.
“The study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles,” FMCSA officials said at the time.
In July 2018, FMCSA officials announced a Military Commercial Driver Pilot Program, which allows certain 18 to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
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