Tomorrow, FMCSA will publish a Federal Register notice requesting comments on a possible new pilot program to allow non-military drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in interstate commerce. Specifically, the agency is requesting comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing such a program for non-military younger drivers.

Last July, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice announcing the details of a separate pilot program that would allow certain 18-to-20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. In a subsequent notice published last November, FMCSA stated that it would incorporate ATA’s suggested improvements to that pilot program, including the collection of data relating to driver training and vehicle safety technologies for drivers participating in the pilot.

Then, this past February, fourteen bipartisan, bicameral Members of Congress reintroduced the DRIVE Safe Act (S. 569, H.R. 1374)—a bill that would allow 18-21 year old civilian drivers to operate CMVs in interstate commerce, provided that the drivers meet certain requirements relating to supervised training, vehicle safety technologies, and safe-driving performance benchmarks.

Building off of these successes, ATA welcomes in tomorrow’s notice the opportunity to advocate for a new, ground-breaking pilot program that would empower properly trained and properly equipped non-military drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

Comments for tomorrow’s notice will be due in 60 days following publication. The notice will be published in the Federal Register and available online here

Information via ATA