The truck driver shortage in the United States cannot be ignored and the numbers have been increasing yearly. To combat the driver shortage, Congress is considering legislation that will lower the required age for truck drivers to 18. Currently, in order to drive a commercial truck across state lines, a person with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) must be 21 years of age. The proposed legislation “Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act” (aka DRIVE-Safe Act) was put forth by Representative Duncan Hunter, R-CA, and the hope is that an increase in the labor pool will supply the needed drivers. Here are the arguments from both supporters and opponents: Supporters:
- Increase in labor pool to solve shortage
- Bring in a wave of new young drivers to make up for the wave of drivers retiring within the next decade.
- Create opportunities for recent high school graduates to establish a career path early and gain experience for quicker advancement
- Give truckers 18-20, that are already able to drive in-state only, the ability to cross state lines and earn larger paychecks.
- Drivers under the age of 21 have less experience and a higher risk for accidents
- The law discourages improving the industry standards
- Encourages keeping driver wages at a low minimum