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DRIVE safe Act to allow a teenager to drive across state lines
As a shortage of truck drivers continues to grow, the Congress is of the opinion that a proposal called the DRIVE-SAFE-law, to enable young people to commercial vehicles across state lines
If Juwan Mack turned 21, one of the first things he did was to carry out his dream. The South Carolina resident applied for, and received, his truck driver’s license.
“I remember, as a child with my grandma. Her house was right next to the highway,” said Mack. “So, I remember that on the side of the road and a truck came in and I my hand would draw for you to beep the horn…childhood dreams.”
But Mack, now a truck driver for CCC transportation, had to wait years for this dream to become reality, thanks to a law that requires that drivers of commercial vehicles over 21 to cross state borders.
Now, Congress is considering new legislation, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., called the development of a responsible person Acting for a Vibrant economy, also known as DRIVE Safe Act. It is 18-year-old, your commercial driver’s license, or CDLs, is the ability to drive commercial vehicles across state lines in an attempt to prevent a nationwide driver shortage.
Most of the States to allow the truck driver under the age of 21 by crossing, but these 18 to 20 are not allowed across state lines.
Many truck drivers are at retirement in the next decade and leave the workforce, and the companies say they are having a hard time hiring new drivers. In South Carolina alone, more than 8,200 locally-owned trucking company said that they suffered from a driver shortage.
Mack feels the legislation, which are currently being reviewed by the house Committee is important and will help the younger audience of drivers in the industry.
The American Trucking Association released a report in October 2017 shows that increase in the past year, the national shortage of 50,000 drivers to 174,000 driver of 2026.
“The truck driver would have the rent by almost a million truck drivers in the next 10 years. You have said a lot of people retired to,” Hunter.
Supporters say lowering the age limit would expand the labor pool. While the pay is decent – the average trucker salary is around $60,000 per year – it is a tough job that requires a driver on the road for months at a time.
“It is a crisis with the shortage of truck drivers – and you can ask any entrepreneur, any fleet operator, all the private companies that is their own fleet, one of their biggest problems is the staff, in particular truck drivers,” said Rick Todd, President of the South Carolina Trucking Association.
The teaching program, the driver would require, under 21 years of age to complete at least 400 hours of service time, of which at least 240 hours of driving accompanied by an experienced driver, and equipment all trucks with cameras and a lot of speed cap of 65 mph.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, the rule set decades ago because of concerns that drivers were under the age of 21 are at a higher risk for accidents.
Now, the proposal has come under criticism from some that agree with the POINT, with the argument that the younger the driver behind the wheel of a truck is a recipe for disaster.
“Young drivers, the overall experience lacking and are less safe behind the wheel, as her older counterpart,” Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, wrote in a letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for the exploration of the Problem. “In fact, the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver 19 to 20 years old are six times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes.”
The teaching program, the driver would require, under 21 years of age to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time, a minimum of 240 hours of driving accompanied by an experienced driver, and equipment all trucks with cameras, a speed controller, 65 km / h and active braking collision mitigation systems.
The Association believes, should make every effort to ensure you concentrate instead on the improvement of the industry, to rent rather than to try, the more cheap labour.
“This has been tried before and no one thought of the mind in healthy people, it was a good idea,” Spencer wrote in the letter. “Nothing has changed since that time and no faults have ever taken place due to a perceived lack of drivers. These recent efforts are just more options to the drivers-go to churn, and the wages as low as possible.”
But Hunter said: the amendment is necessary because the trucking industry keeps America going for the supply of goods, ranging from fresh vegetables, petroleum, the country – and the cost of the goods and availability of goods will go down, if the Problem is not addressed.
“It is not a disadvantage, to do this, because they are already people on the street, between the ages of 18 to 21. You went through all the training, all the safety stuff. So do it already, you just can’t drive or are not on the state border,” Hunter said. “So, I think this fixes a stupid question, how to fix the Congress.”
“…about half of our driver population is 52 years of age or older, which means that they are going to be retiring in droves here shortly. But still less than half of one percent are said to be younger than 21,” President of the South Carolina Trucking Association, Rick Todd.
Mack feels the legislation is important and the industry to help bring in the younger riders.
“I feel like a lot of children that are underage, you will not be jumping in, because it can wait,” said Mack, “you know, no restriction on where you can go or how far you can go.”
Terrace Garnier is a Fox-News-multimedia reporter in Columbia, South Carolina. You can follow her on twitter: @TeraceGarnier