FMCSA Requests ‘Emergency Approval’ of Controversial New Teen Trucker Program
Washington D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is fast-tracking a new pilot program which will allow drivers as young as 18 years of age to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.
In a Federal Register notice, the FMCSA asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for “review and emergency approval” of the “Apprenticeship Pilot Program” which is included in the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Biden late last year.
Specifically, the Agency is asking OMB to approve the Information Collection Request regarding the teen trucker study by January 13, 2022.
The program is scheduled to last for three years and the FMCSA indicated it expects to receive 44,945 applications from 4,500 motor carriers and 40,445 drivers.
Late last year, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) took a comprehensive look at exactly how the teen trucker program is required to be implemented.
Click HERE for what you should know.
The teen trucker pilot was a major win for groups such as the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) which have long-advocated for such measures in order to ease the so-called trucker shortage.
In a statement following its passage, ATA President Chris Spear lauded the new program arguing it will provide an “infusion of highly-trained, younger talent into our workforce.”
However, safety activists are furious.
In an opinion piece published in the New York Times in November of last year, Joan Claybrook, chair of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, and Russ Swift, co-chair of Parents Against Tired Truckers, called a new teen trucker program “reckless.”
“The trucking industry’s solution of putting teens behind the wheel of 80,000-pound rigs reflects its pursuit of profits over public safety,” Claybrook and Swift wrote. “What’s next? Allowing teens into the cockpits of commercial airlines to address a pilot shortage?”
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this story closely.