OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is launching a pilot program to allow younger drivers to operate trucks on interstate routes.
The three-year pilot program to allow 18-20-year-old drivers who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (Class A/1 license) to operate Class 8 vehicles for interstate commerce was advanced this week.
The program was originally announced in August 2016, with an official comment period coming to a close and the results from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released in the July 5 Federal Register.
Forty respondents favored the program, most with restrictions on how it should be implemented, while nine opposed it outright. Eighteen commenters asked the agency to expand the pilot program or add an additional program for those under 20 years old in the agricultural sector.
Spots in the pilot program will be limited and participating drivers must be sponsored by an approved trucking company.
The program aims to not only help the industry hire younger drivers to combat an increasing driver shortage, but to help military veterans transition successfully back into civilian life.
The program will asses the safety records of the young drivers by comparing them to a control group for the length of the pilot.
More information on the project can be found on the FMCSA website here.
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