The driver shortage in our industry has impacted capacity and trucking costs, but a new bill introduced to Congress hopes to help combat the driver deficit. The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act was recently created to enhance safety training and job opportunities for young drivers. Currently, federal law does not allow drivers under the age of 21 to move goods across state lines.
Part of the driver shortage crisis is due to the average age of truck drivers continuing to climb, while not being replenished by recent high school graduates entering the field (due to the federal law requiring them to be 21 years of age). Therefore many of the available candidates are migrating to the military, construction, and other trades/careers available to them upon turning 18.
The DRIVE-Safe Act proposes a training program, that once completed, would allow drivers between 18-21 the ability to operate a commercial vehicle across state lines. The training would ensure drivers have the preparation, while also instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks.
The proposed bill has yet to pass and remains unseen if this would actually help with the recruitment of more drivers.