• ITVI.USA
    15,746.290
    48.010
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.890
    0.480
    2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,748.000
    48.490
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,746.290
    48.010
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.890
    0.480
    2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,748.000
    48.490
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
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    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

FMCSA proposes under-21 driver pilot program

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.

John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

86 Comments

  1. Obviously safety doesn’t matter anymore. We know its all about the MONEY! THE YOUTS are a a financial resource for the government. The blood of all the innocent people killed and maimed are on you.

    1. Absolutely agree, and a little more, the companies are short in drivers, they put pressure on the government , money money money….dirty job!!!

  2. Money, money !!!!!!
    That’s all what brokers and big companies need. Don’t care about safety.
    Give them 0.25 cents per mile and never got back home to their families. All the time in truck.
    WHEN THAT CRAP GONNA STOP!!!!

  3. Personally I think if your old enough to join the military your old enough to drive a truck. Most of the old heads out here claim to have been driving since they were younger than 18 so. All they need like most is better training than what most provide now. I went through a three week cdl school and when I got on the road I found out I didn’t know anything that I honestly needed to know. So throw in better training and I’m all for it.

  4. ridiculous idea! The way kids jump into any and everything posted on social media they will have an 80,000 lbs killing machine to use for protests! They will not be responsible enough to do the job and none of it matters anyway; because autonomous trucks are taking over in a couple years!

  5. It is a bad idea.
    The age should be increased to 25.
    This request for public commentary is dated May 2019. Is there a new or updated/extended request in the federal registry. It says in the document attached to this article comments were accepted up to 60 days after posting.

  6. Automatic transmissions, crash mitigation, lane departure, 63-65 mph. Road speed, and camera’s inside the cab, oh yeah I almost forgot driver can’t be trusted enough keep up with their hos, ELD’s / 14 hour rule has done nothing to improve safety, more deaths, more accidents and 1000’s more on the way from our under 21 kids.

  7. I feel like this is the worst idea yet, I mean help they kids can’t even put there phone down and I see this crap everyday on road ways. NOT TO MENTION, young drivers these days have no respect for others on the road. Wait till you see a kid at 18-21 try to drive a 80,000 lb truck like a car, they are going to kill someone. And finally but not leases I feel like big corporations are going to try and use this to lower truck drivers salaries because there “be an increase of drivers” and offer less to drivers or use that as a point of job positioning pressure. Not all companies are like this thank fully but there are some slimy trucking businesses. And LASTLY, CDL school need to cover everything and I mean EVERYTHING backing, Drill G.O.A.L. into there thick heads. All weather conditions , heavy winds, winter, rain, sand storms. The real meaning of pre trips and post trips. Minor repairs to stay in service. And know the real 14 hos rules. 8-2 split and you guys just added that new split now as well.

    1. all the companies finally are the same….money money….safety? They need more drivers? Yes, when they have more they will put your mile down….

  8. NEVER do I want to see this happen. There are enough problems with younger drivers now. Absolutely NO respect for any vehicle on the road. Their mindset is “it is all about me”! Taking 1/2hour breaks at a fuel island. Passing a 65 mph truck with a 66 mph truck! STUPID! Most are just over grown kids, with minimal training, from ANOTHER overgrown kid!!
    We certainly dont need more of this out there.
    Been doing this job since 1973. BEVER have I ever seen this low level of professionalism on the highways. Used to be we were the “knights of the highways”! Now….not so much.
    Ofcourse, it doesn’t help when the vast n majority of “wheekes” have no idea how to drive around big trucks.
    Ni matter what FMCSA decides, it is the insurance companies who will have the final say. Hope they are smarter than the folks that are supposed to be running this show!! BTW, all this talk about defunding certain folks, how about starting with the ATA. We certainly do not need them, for any reason!@
    Later! See yall down the road!! “Cutter”!

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