FMCSA Grants ATA’s Request On Potential Under-21 Trucker Pilot Program
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Friday it has granted a “request for comment” extension filed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) pertaining to the agency’s potential pilot program to allow non-military drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
FMCSA announced in May it was requesting comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that the agency should consider in developing options or approaches for a non-military pilot program for younger drivers.
“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety,” FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez said at that time.
The comment period for the notice was set to expire on July 15, 2019.
However, ATA requested a 30-day extension of the comment period, stating that the additional time was needed to enable them to gather safety performance data and other relevant information to more fully address the issues presented in a way that will best aid FMCSA.
In its notice of extension, FMCSA said it “believes it is appropriate to extend the comment period to provide interested parties additional time to submit their responses to the notice.”
Thus, the agency has extended the comment period until August 14, 2019.
READ more about what information the agency is requesting and how to comment HERE.
Battle Continues Over Lowering Interstate Driving Age For Truckers
The ATA strongly supports recently introduced bi-partisan legislation called the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act (DRIVE-Safe Act).
The bill, if enacted, would effectively allow drivers as young as 18 years of age to operate a big rig in interstate commerce.
Sponsors of the legislation, along with ATA, argue such a regulatory shift is needed due to a nation-wide shortage of commercial truck drivers.
RECENT NEWS ON THE DRIVE-SAFE ACT
Opponents contend the driver shortage narrative is a “myth” and that lowering the age limit will only create more danger on our nation’s roadways.
READ more on the DRIVE-Safe Act and the battle that’s brewing HERE.
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