The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering a pilot program which would allow drivers aged 18-20 to drive trucks interstate. The proposed program is only open for comment until July 15th, so if you want to weigh in, this is your last chance.
While large carriers have been pushing for years to lower the interstate driving age for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), they haven’t had any luck. Year after year (this year included), bills are introduced in Congress that never get anywhere. Now however, lobbying groups are trying to go directly to regulators, bypassing lawmakers entirely.
First, the FMCSA introduced a pilot program that would allow military veterans under the age of 21 to drive CMVs in interstate commerce. That pilot looks likely to fail since the FMCSA is having trouble finding enough military veterans under the age of 21 who have relevant driving experience that want to be part of the program. But that pilot opened the door up to this program which expands eligibility to any 18-, 19-, or 20-year-olds without military experience.
The FMCSA is light on all of the details of the program. They’re so light in fact that the FMCSA is asking not only for commenters to tell them how the program should be run, but also what metrics they should use to determine whether lowering the driving age has an impact on safety.
Over 460 comments have been submitted already on the topic. If you’d like to submit a comment, you can do so on the federal register website.