Regulators Considering Lower Minimum Age To Solve Chronic Driver Shortage

Published: Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:41am
Updated: Monday, May 20, 2019 - 10:53am

Last Tuesday, federal regulators covering long-haul truck drivers announced they are considering allowing drivers under age 21 for interstate hauls. It's the latest industry effort to address a severe driver shortage.

Driver shortages have reached a crisis point. In a quarterly announcement, officers of Phoenix-based Knight-Swift Transportation said company earnings drops have been due to driver loss and difficulty recruiting new drivers. Knight-Swift is the largest trucking company in the U.S. and its driver shortage is reflected industry-wide.

Last week, federal regulators announced they will take public comments on allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to drive long-haul to help fill the gap.States currently allow drivers under 21 to haul freight within state lines, but federal law does not allow drivers to cross.

Those in support say it adds jobs to the economy. Those against say adding younger drivers does not solve the underlying problem of the high turnover rate in the industry.

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