Skip to content

March 11, 2021

King Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill that Supports Trucking Workforce of the Future

Legislation will grow career opportunities for young drivers and enhance safety training in the trucking industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is reintroducing the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry and enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. Though 49 states and the District of Columbia allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) at the age 18, federal law currently prohibits those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act establishes an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21.

“The trucking and national supply chain network have been fundamental to America’s response to the coronavirus, moving goods to support medical personnel and sustain the public throughout this crisis,” said Senator King. “The industry is vital to our everyday life, but driver shortages threaten its future. The DRIVE Safe Act addresses these challenges by creating an apprenticeship program that works across state lines, enhances the skills of our workforce, and helps train the next generation of safe drivers. I’m proud to once again stand with my bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce this bill, and hope that the Congress will move on this commonsense solution to a pressing problem.”

The apprenticeship training program would help ensure these drivers are trained beyond current standards while instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks. The apprenticeship program established by the DRIVE-Safe Act would require young drivers to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab with them.

All trucks used for training in the program must be equipped with safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, a video event capture system, and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour or below.

In addition to Senator King, the legislation is supported by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Next Article » « Previous Article