New government program allows truck drivers as young as 18 to drive rigs across state lines

Amid a nationwide driver shortage, the US government is unveiling a new apprenticeship program that will allow truck drivers as young as 18 years old to cross state lines in trucks when accompanied by an experienced truck driver.

The program is designed to help ease the effects of the driver shortage, which has become worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, most states allow drivers as young as 21 to drive commercial vehicles, but do not allow them to drive across state lines. The new program will increase their productivity as it will allow the young apprentice drivers to drive from state to state.

The program has been criticized by some, including the Truck Safety Coalition, which has expressed concerns that the program will lead to accidents, injury and death by allowing inexperienced drivers behind the wheel.

“We’d like to see [Transportation] Secretary [Pete] Buttigieg demonstrate a genuine commitment to safety and publicly commit to terminating the program under his authority as DOT Secretary after the first fatality or serious injury,” said TSC executive director Zach Cahalan.

President of Advocates for Highway Safety and Auto Safety, Cathy Chase, told CNN, “It makes no sense to put one of the most dangerous driving populations behind the wheel of 80,000 pound rigs.” She added that there are other ways to deal with the truck driver shortage, such as offering truck drivers higher pay and better benefits.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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