FMCSA denies TCA petition for young truck drivers
Jun 10, 2003 12:00 PM
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has denied a petition by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) that proposed a pilot program to allow drivers 18 to 20 years of age to drive trucks in interstate commerce under certain conditions, according to FMCSA information. Under current federal regulations, such drivers must be at least 21 years of age. FMCSA is denying the petition because it does not have sufficient information at this time to make a determination that the safety measures in the pilot program would achieve a level of safety at least equal to that provided by complying with the minimum 21-year age requirement to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
The pilot program proposed by TCA October 2, 2000, would screen candidate drivers, train them at approved truck-driving schools, and provide an apprenticeship with an approved motor carrier until age 21. FMCSA said that denial of the TCA petition should not be construed as a rejection of the argument that screening, training, and mentoring could improve the safety performance of younger CMV drivers.
The agency received 1,634 comments in response to the proposal. More than 90 percent of the comments were opposed to the pilot program. The most common reason given by those opposed to the younger commercial driver pilot training program was that younger drivers do not have the level of maturity or the driving experience necessary to operate a CMV in interstate commerce, FMCSA said.