“Driver Shortage” is Why New Bill to Attract Women Into Trucking Must Pass, Senators Say

Washington D.C. – Citing underrepresentation and the so-called “driver shortage,” two U.S. Senators introduced legislation this week which would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to promote the trucking industry as a viable career path for women.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WS) have introduced the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act which instructs the FMCSA Administrator to establish a “Women of Trucking Advisory Board.”

 

According to a statement from Sen. Moran, the newly formed board would seek to identify:

1.) Industry trends that directly or indirectly discourage women from pursuing careers in trucking.

2.) Ways trucking companies, nonprofit organizations, and trucking associations may coordinate to facilitate or support women pursuing careers in trucking.

3.) Ways to expand existing opportunities for women in the trucking agency.

4.) Opportunities to enhance trucking training, mentorship, education, and outreach programs that are exclusive to women.

“Because women are substantially underrepresented and the industry is facing a driver shortage, Congress should explore every opportunity to encourage and support the pursuit of careers in trucking by women,” Moran said.

Moran also expressed his belief that more female drivers will contribute to making U.S. roadways safer.

He explained, “Female drivers have been shown to be 20% less likely than male counterparts to be involved in a crash.”

 

The new legislation is backed by both the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Sen. Moran noted.

If the bill passes, the FMCSA Administrator will be required to submit a report on the advisory board’s findings and recommendations to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act is the second federal bill introduced this year with the stated objective of helping relieve the perceived impacts of the so-called “driver shortage.”

Earlier this year, the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act (DRIVE-Safe Act), was introduced, and if passed, would eliminate the federal age restriction on interstate transportation.

Under the legislation, a driver as young as 18 years of age could operate a big rig in interstate commerce.

MYTH OR NOT?

The ATA says its most recent data puts the current driver shortage at approximately 60,000 and expects that number to continue to climb even reaching more than 100,000 within the next five years.

Critics argue the driver shortage is merely a myth concocted by large carriers, with chronically high turnover rates, as a means to win support from lawmakers for measures such as lowering the interstate driving age to 18.

 

Earlier this year, the “driver shortage” debate erupted yet again.

In a lengthy article entitled, “Is the U.S. labor market for truck drivers broken?,” Stephen Burks, a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota Morris, and Kristen Monaco with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dive deep into labor statistics and analyze labor market conditions within the trucking industry.

Their findings indicate the perceived labor shortage, particularly in the long-haul truckload segment, could be remedied by providing wages commensurate with the demands and working conditions of the profession.

In the face of intensifying scrutiny challenging the veracity of a driver shortage, ATA’s chief economist Bob Costello fired back and claimed the study was rife with “flaws.”

Read more about the BLS study and Costello’s response HERE.

No matter which side of the argument you are on, one thing is clear, the “driver shortage” narrative continues to be at the center of new and ongoing trucking-related legislative efforts.

 


RECENTLY RELATED

Senator Says Bill To Lower Cross-Country Driving Age Won’t Pass Unless…

Driver Shortage Tops Annual List of Critical Trucking Issues

ATA Fires Back At “Flawed” New Study Challenging “Driver Shortage”

Another Mega Carrier CEO Blames “Overcapacity” For Slumping Earnings

 


FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER FOR MORE TRUCKING NEWS!


If you enjoyed this article, please help us grow by sharing it. Thank you!

Comment (2)

  1. First question: who is making money here?
    ATA is only out to discount all truck drivers as inept or outlaws to enable its final goal of autonomous trucks.
    Technology is going to babysit an eighteen year old full of hormones? Doubt it. Technology is going to make women salivate to get into
    a truck? Doubt it. Then when the death by teenage driver stats start rolling in, ATA will send thoughts and prayers and perhaps cry crocodile tears,
    all the while celebrating another day closer to complete control of transportation, without those pesky humans to have to pay.
    As to technology, every day another hack thru it; another hospital having its records held for ransom; another steam ship line, another government
    agency hacked……………………..every single day.
    Second question: why is everyone apparently brainwashed into thinking that we should turn over our lives and our fortunes to computers connected to the internet, with ALL their known dangers?
    Follow the money, it’s the first rule in crime solving, so of course it is also the first line to follow here as well.
    Einstein discovered a second law of the Universe, did you know? He said if he had an hour to solve a universal problem, he would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem and would only need the last 5 to assemble the solution.
    Mr Garcia – you have failed to correctly define the “problem” in trucking. Money, but OUR money. As long as you allow the carriers to rob us, according to CA law, by not paying us for all our hours, you will continue to flail about, making punitive laws, making and changing them as they continue to fail. Your legacy of reaching out to drivers will always remain tarnished if you let the profiting companies make the rules. Sorry
    American heros are not only military persons. Each American, in their own way, has the opportunity, every day, to do what’s right and to do their utmost to right the wrongs imposed upon us by ignorance or greed. Where do you stand, sir? Will you side with the angels, or cave in to those silver-tongued devils of profit?

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This