Blog by Tommy Ruke, The King Pin – Leading Expert in Truck Insurance

18-YEAR OLD DRIVERS ON THE INTERSTATE!!

There are a lot of press reports and I have had a few telephone calls about the “Drive Safe Act” – For those of you that have not heard about it, some information follows.

From the “Scopelitis Legislative News – March 2019”:

Bill to Authorize 18-21 Year Olds to Drive in Interstate Commerce Introduced – On February 26, a bill, the Drive Safe Act, creating an apprenticeship program to train and authorize drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 to drive in interstate commerce was re-introduced with bipartisan sponsors in the House and the Senate.  The bill would require a specified number of hours of on-duty time and driving time in the company of an experienced driver with a vehicle that is equipped with certain safety technologies in order to successfully complete the apprenticeship program and be eligible to drive without restriction.  Many states currently allow 18-year old drivers to drive in interstate commerce, but those drivers are currently prohibited under federal law from driving in interstate commerce.  The bill is supported by many trucking interests but has drawn opposition from safety groups and OOIDA.

There is a lot of talk about the driver shortage.  There are many solutions (band aids) from younger drivers to driverless trucks.

It never made sense to me that an 18-year old can drive from Key West, Florida to Tallahassee (600 miles) but not from Tallahassee to Thomasville, Georgia (50 miles).  What does a state line have to do with the ability to drive an 18-wheeler?  Why not limit the radius to 300 miles so the driver can get home?  – Makes sense – Maybe too much when Congress files bills to address a “problem”.

We will follow the progress of the Drive Safe Act and if it becomes law, we will provide additional information.