A federal pilot program which allows truck drivers under the age of 21 to drive interstate is now underway. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says that the program will help fix the “driver shortage.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is now accepting applicants for the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program. According to the FMCSA, the three-year pilot program will “study the feasibility, benefits, and safety impacts of allowing 18-20 year-old drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.”
While applicants to the pilot program must be U.S. military veterans or reservists, the FMCSA isn’t examining the difference between of military drivers and non-military drivers, but rather between drivers 18-20 and drivers 21-24.
Already, DOT officials seem fairly confident that younger drivers will be given the green light.
“This program will help our country’s Veterans and Reservists transition into good-paying jobs while addressing the shortage of truck drivers in our country,” said Secretary Chao.