A federal transportation agency is proposing a pilot program allowing drivers who are 18 to 20 years old to operate commercial motor vehicles across state lines.
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Sept. 4 it’s seeking public comments on the proposal.
This proposed pilot program would “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,” according to an FMCSA news release.
The proposed pilot program would allow drivers to participate if they fall within two categories:
- Commercial Drivers’ License holders 18 to 20 years old who operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce while taking part in a 120-hour probationary period followed by a 280-hour probationary period under an employer-established apprenticeship program.
- Nineteen- and 20-year-old commercial drivers who have operated commercial motor vehicles within state borders for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles.
Study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials.
Drivers under the age of 21 can currently operate commercial motor vehicles within state borders in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The FMCSA has been trying to get similar programs started over the past few years, but has met some resistance from transportation safety advocates.