Union opposes teens as interstate, rather than intrastate truckers
TEAMSTERS' boss James Hoffa blasted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) proposal to lower the truck driver licence eligibility age to 18 a 'grave concern to those who use the roadways as their workplace every day'
TEAMSTERS' boss James Hoffa blasted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) proposal to lower the truck driver licence eligibility age to 18 a 'grave concern to those who use the roadways as their workplace every day'.
Eighteen-year-olds are allowed to drive trucks within state borders but not cross state lines. To secure and an interstate commercial licence one must be 21. reported American Shipper.
Applauding the development, American Trucking Associations (ATA) president Chris Spears said: 'Allowing younger drivers, who are already moving goods intrastate, to drive interstate is a common sense step that has support not just from the trucking industry, but from a broad coalition.'
The FAST Act allows the FMCSA to consider a pilot programme to lower the driving age to obtain a commercial driver?s licence (CDL), with a focus on former military veterans who were trained to operate large trucks.
'That safeguard was an important step towards counteracting the enormous safety risks inherent with having teenagers running tractor-trailers across long distances,' Mr Hoffa said.
The Teamsters want more focus on driver retention through higher pay and better working conditions. 'We are disappointed to see the agency only focus on how they can get more drivers into these jobs with no suggestions of how to improve the quality of the work,' Mr Hoffa said.
'Younger drivers should not be expected to tolerate substandard working conditions any more than their older counterparts. Asking them to do so while also potentially jeopardizing the safety of all road users only makes this decision more troubling,' he said.