The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants public comment on a pilot program allowing drivers ages 18-20 to haul interstate commercial freight.
Most states and the District of Columbia already allow 18- to 20-year-old commercial driver’s license holders to operate trucks within the state.
“This action will allow the Agency to carefully examine the safety, feasibility and possible economic benefits of allowing 18- to 20-year-old drivers to operate in interstate commerce,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck in announcing the proposed pilot project Friday. “Safety is always FMCSA’s top priority, so we encourage drivers, motor carriers and interested citizens to review this proposed new pilot program and share their thoughts and opinions.”
The proposed program allows drivers falling within one of two categories to participate:
- Eighteen- to 20-year-old CDL holders who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce while taking part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period under an apprenticeship program established by an employer, or
- Nineteen- and 20-year-old commercial drivers who have operated CMVs in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles.
Participating drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles, according to the proposal. The test program would last up to three years.
Details of the proposed program can be found here.