FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sean McNally
July 21, 2015
Commercial License Program Makes Good Safety Sense
Trucking Group Backs Bill to Take Steps Toward Bringing Young Adults into Industry
Arlington, Va. – Today, the American Trucking Associations called on Congress to support legislation that would lead to a graduated licensing program for commercial drivers.
“We applaud Senator Fischer for introducing legislation that could bring us closer to a graduated licensing program for commercial drivers hauling freight across state lines,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Right now, an 18-year-old can drive a truck within the borders of his state, but not to deliver goods across state lines – this means a young adult could drive a truck from El Paso, Texas to Dallas – a distance of more than 600 miles – but couldn’t cross the street to deliver that same load from Texarkana, Texas to Texarkana, Ark. This is something we can easily correct and, at the same time, move toward a graduated CDL system.”
ATA supports Sen. Fischer’s legislation, which would take steps toward rationalizing our licensing laws by allowing states to permit limited interstate travel by 18- to 21-year-olds, and take a big step toward a graduated licensing program for commercial drivers.
“Graduated licensing is proven and effective for reducing the risk of young drivers of passenger vehicles – millions of drivers have gotten their licenses this way – and it has been a top policy priority for many organizations, including some that are attacking Senator Fischer’s proposal now,” said ATA Executive Vice President Dave Osiecki. “Research has conclusively shown the benefits of graduated licensing for young drivers. Some groups’ resistance to this commonsense commercial licensing proposal is as illogical as the current rules limiting interstate driving by young adults.”
ATA said one of the benefits of Sen. Fischer’s proposal is that states can choose to impose a number of safeguards to ensure these young adults learn appropriate behaviors on the road.
“This is the way we should be training, not just new truck drivers, but individuals in all fields,” Graves said. “States participating in the compacts this bill envisions could limit the types of cargo these drivers could haul, require extra technologies or restrict these trips to certain routes or times.
“At a time when the unemployment rate for young adults is nearly triple the national average – and our industry is looking to replace millions of soon-to-be retiring drivers as part of an aging workforce, this bill could be a tremendous boon not just to the trucking industry, but to the economy and to thousands of unemployed young people who might just find their next career,” he said.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward