FMCSA Asks: Should 18 to 20-Year-Olds Be Allowed To Drive Cross-Country?
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
Drivers ages 18-20 may currently only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce.
In July 2018, USDOT announced the details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18- to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Today’s action requests comments on a second pilot program to allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
FMCSA is requesting comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.
“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety,” FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez said in the announcement.
“We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” he urged.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for REACTION and ANALYSIS to today’s announcement!
How To Comment?
The quickest way to comment is to log on to regulations.gov and follow the online instructions to complete your comment.
However, you can also mail your comment to: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200, New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
You can hand deliver your comment to: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
You can also fax your comment to: 1-202-493-2251
It’s IMPORTANT to note when making a comment, you must include the DOCKET NO. which is: Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0346
What Specifically Is FMCSA Asking?
The FMCSA is asking commenters to address a host of issues. The questions are included below for your reference now or in the future.
1.) What data are currently available on the safety performance (e.g. crash involvement, etc.) of 18-20-year-old drivers operating CMVs in intrastate commerce?
2.) Are there concerns about obtaining insurance coverage for drivers under 21 who operate CMVs in intrastate commerce, and would these challenges be greater for interstate operations?
Training and Experience
1.) What is the minimum driving experience that should be required for a driver to be admitted to a pilot?
2.) Should there be a requirement for experience driving non-commercial vehicles (e.g., to hold a regular driver’s license for some minimum period of time)?
3.) Should there be a requirement for experience driving a CMV in intrastate commerce for some minimum period of time? If so, what should that period be and how should it be measured (e.g., time with a CDL, hours driven, vehicle miles traveled) and why?
4.) Is there a minimum amount of time a younger driver should be required to hold a CLP or CDL? If so, how long and why? Are there driver training topics that should be required for younger drivers beyond those covered in the ELDT final rule? If so, what are they and why?
5.) What kind of supervision, and how much, should be required for drivers under 21 in a pilot?
6.) Should there be any specific training / qualification requirements for mentors, supervisors or co-drivers? If so, what type of training or qualifications?
7.) Should FMCSA require that participating motor carriers establish a formal apprenticeship program according to Department of Labor Standards? If so, why?
1.) Should there be time or distance restrictions on younger drivers? If so, what should these be and why?
2.) Should younger drivers have more limited hours of service, such as a maximum of 8 hours of driving each day? If so, what limits should be applied and why?
3.) Should younger drivers be prohibited from transporting hazardous materials, passengers, and/or operating tank vehicles or oversize/overweight vehicles? Should there be other restrictions?
Requirements for Participation
1.) What safety standards should participating motor carriers have to meet? Are the requirements from the Under 21 Military Pilot Program appropriate?
2.) What safety standards should participating drivers have to meet? Are the requirements from the Under 21 Military Pilot program appropriate?
3.) What action(s) should the Agency consider taking if drivers in this pilot program are convicted of violations while operating in interstate commerce?
4.) At what point should FMCSA remove a driver or motor carrier from a pilot program?
1.) Should FMCSA include requirements for safety equipment or on-board recording systems in a pilot program for younger CMV drivers? If so, what equipment and why?
2.) Are the technologies proposed in the DRIVE-Safe Act appropriate?
3.) Should FMCSA include other technologies? If so, what technologies are
1.) Will insurance companies be willing to cover younger drivers operating CMVs in interstate commerce?
2.) What is the surcharge for insuring a younger driver?
3.) Will motor carriers be able to afford the insurance coverage for these younger drivers?
Research and Data
1.) What type of data could be provided to the Agency to evaluate the safety performance of drivers under 21 who operate in intrastate commerce, e.g., State- managed safety performance data?
2.) Are traffic violations, crashes, and inspection violations adequate to allow a comparison of safety records? If not, what other safety performance measures should be used?
3.) What research should the Agency consider to assess the safety impacts of younger interstate CMV drivers.
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