If you follow our blog, you’ll know that we talk about the trucking industry a lot and have delved into the trucking crisis; we of course are referring to the shortage of drivers. Many groups, the government included, have tried to come up with ways to avert this crisis. If there aren’t enough truck drivers, the economy falls flat on its face. Truck drivers are necessary to transport goods from place to place, city to city, so it’s understandable why there is an concerted effort to create new truck drivers. Congress is pushing an ambitious plan that would change the landscape of truck driving – that is, giving the keys to 18-year-olds.
In this U.S. News article, Joan Lowy writes, “Federal Regulations currently require drivers be at least 21 before they can drive commercial trucks across state lines, but a bill introduced this week by Republican senators would allow contiguous states that join together in “compacts” to drop the age threshold to 18 for interstate trips. There is no limit on the number of states that could join the compacts.”
That is certainly a bold move and it is reasonable that some would have issue with handing big rig keys to teenagers, but it could be the only solution at refilling the trucker ranks in America. The problem is a bit more serious than any people realize. If analysts are correct, there could be more than 200,000 unfilled trucker jobs. Those drivers aren’t going to miraculously appear overnight; they need to be trained and Congress’s thinking is that what better way to create new drivers than get them while they’re young? Let us know what you think in the comments below.