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Congress Seeks Solutions for Driver Shortage


The trucking industry has struggled with a shortage of drivers for nearly a decade and the problem is becoming more severe.

A bill that was introduced in the House recently would allow drivers under 21 years old to operate on interstate highways. Federal law currently restricts interstate trucking to CDL holders 21 years and older. However, most states allow drivers 18 or 19 and older to operate intrastate.

The DRIVE-safe Act, introduced by Reps Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), would allow drivers 18 and older to operate across state lines, if they meet rigorous training requirements — at least 400 hours of on-duty time with 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver training them. Training would also be restricted to trucks equipped with active braking systems, video monitoring systems and speed limiters set to 65 mph or slower.

The “Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act”, H.R.5358, has received significant support from the industry, including UPS, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) and the National Council of Chain Restaurants, a division of the National Retail Federation.

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