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Truckers oppose plan to allow 18-year-olds to drive across state lines

Senator Todd Young authored a bi-partisan bill that would allow that to happen.

Posted: Mar. 11, 2019 10:37 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Semi drivers going through Fort Wayne don't like the idea of allowing drivers as young as 18 driving across the country.

Senator Todd Young authored a bi-partisan bill that would allow that to happen.

But drivers at the Fort Wayne Truck Plaza at I-69 and U.S. 30 said they think 18 is too young to drive across the country.

"Experience isn't there. They still have a lot growing up to do," said James Pieper, a trucker from Wisconsin.

"I don't agree with it because most 18-year-olds don't have enough life experience to deal with this kind of job," said Bill Morse, who is from Maine.

Currently, Federal law prevents CDL holders under 21 driving across state lines.

Many states, including Indiana, allow people to get their CDL at 18, but they must only drive in their state.

This means a younger driver can drive a semi 300 from Fort Wayne to Evansville, but not 100 from Fort Wayne to Toledo, Ohio.

"We've got some major economic opportunities that are being crushed because of current federal law that we aim to improve with this common sense resolution," said Senator Todd Young.

The American Trucking Association estimates more than 51,000 semi drivers are still needed to move goods across the country.

"To the extent you are unable to find drivers, that really leads to bottle necks and inefficiencies and increases in prices," said Young.

HIs bill would require more training for those younger drivers.

They would need at least 400 hours with an experienced driver before they are set free.

"Actually they would have more safety training, hundreds of hours worth on the road than your average cdl driver," Young said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is getting ready to pilot a program allowing drivers as young as 18 cross state lines if they are military veterans.

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