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March 1, 2019 12:00 PM, EST

ATA Touts Introduction of Interstate Driving Legislation

young driver behind the wheel Luke Sharrett/ Bloomberg News

American Trucking Associations has strongly praised the introduction in the 116th Congress of a bill designed to facilitate interstate driving for truckers younger than 21.

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ATA President Chris Spear acknowledged the bipartisan backing the legislation has garnered, signaling its potential consideration in the months ahead.

“The strong bipartisan, bicameral support behind this legislation demonstrates how real a threat the driver shortage presents to our nation’s economic security over the long term — and how serious our lawmakers are about addressing it with common-sense solutions,” Spear said Feb. 26. “We look forward to working closely with supporters on both sides of the aisle as we move this measure across the finish line.”

The DRIVE Safe Act’s sponsors include Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Its sponsors in the House include Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.).

“This legislation arose from exactly where it should — right here in Indiana,” Hollingsworth said. “We want more people to get great opportunities and build successful careers for themselves, as well as ensure American businesses across the country can operate at their fullest potential.”

Committees with jurisdiction over commercial transportation have yet to schedule hearings to consider the bill. Similar legislation in the previous congressional session also gained bipartisan support from key policymakers.

Federal law allows truck drivers 21 and older to operate commercial vehicles interstate.