FMCSA Considers New Pilot Program For Under 21 Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18 to 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles for interstate commerce.
At present, drivers aged 18-20 currently may only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce.
This isn't the first Pilot Program the FMCSA has presented. In July 2018, the DOT announced details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18-to-20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. The new pilot program would be open to all 18-20-year-olds.
FMCSA requests comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.
FMCSA administrator Raymond P. Martinez stated:
"We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry while maintaining the highest level of safety. We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers."
Some important questions the FMCSA are considering and want your feedback on include:
What is the available data on the safety performance of under-21 intrastate truckers?
What minimum training should be required for drivers in the pilot program?
What kind of supervision should be required for under-21 truckers in the program?
Should there be time or distance restrictions on younger drivers?
Should younger drivers be prohibited from hauling hazmat and oversize/overweight?
At what point should a driver or carrier be removed from the program?
Should FMCSA require safety equipment or onboard recording systems in the pilot?
If you are interested in responding, comments can be submitted by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0346 at www.regulations.gov beginning today, Wednesday, May 15th.