LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The future of the trucking industry took center stage on Capitol Hill today with thousands of trucking jobs going unfilled.
Trucker advocates are calling on Congress to soften regulations they believe hurt recruitment.
But industry executives say that’s not the problem, it’s job access.
One possible solution, lowering the commercial driving age to 18.
Some say it’ll fill the hiring hole.
Others note that younger drivers are statistically less safe.
“I think if we can teach someone to steer an aircraft carrier we can teach them how to cross state lines in a class 8. This is a step towards safety not away,” says Chris Spear with the America Truckers Association.
“You have to have experienced knowledgeable drivers,” says Todd Spencer, with the Independent Drivers Association. “There is no substitute when it comes to safety.”
The Independent Drivers Association says Congress doesn’t need to recruit younger drivers but to pass reforms to improve the work conditions of drivers already on the road.
That includes raising wages and reducing the number of hours drivers work.