Majority supports young truck drivers crossing state lines
The DRIVE-Safe Act was re-introduced to legislators this spring, and bi-partisan supporters say it will address the shortage of truck drivers across the nation, including here in Florida.
The act is an update to federal law. It includes safety standards that allow younger drivers to enter the trucking industry by driving interstate commerce.
Survey results show something surprising
A Harris-Poll conducted online in March found 86 percent of Americans ages 18 and older supported the Drive-Safe Act. With 2,015 adults polled, nine out of ten supported the law.
Experts in the industry estimate an additional 50,000 truck drivers are needed nationwide. Most states allow trucking licenses at age 18, but federal law requires a driver to be 21 to bring commerce across state lines. DRIVE-Safe enhances safety and training standards for those age 18-21 drivers with a two-step training process.
Under the law, once a driver qualifies for a commercial license, they must complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time in the cab with an experienced driver.
Every driver will train on trucks equipped with new safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, video event capture, and a speed governor of 65 miles per hour or lower.
While the new law would help young drivers get into the field, is there really a shortage?
A recent analysis conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found truck driving is a "relatively stable occupational choice" and any shortage would be confined to long-haul drivers, not the industry at large.
According to Health & Safety Magazine, an American Trucking Associations economist with related research expertise finds flaws with the researchers' understanding of the trucking industry. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, whose organization has publicized the perceived shortage through a series of alerts and reports over the years, challenges BLS' findings, asserting that Burks and Monaco "demonstrated some basic misunderstandings about the trucking industry generally and how we at ATA and in the industry discuss the driver shortage."
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association backs BLS' research, however. President and CEO Todd Spencer said the findings support a long-standing OOIDA claim that the alleged shortage is a "myth."
"Our greatest concern about the perpetuation of the myth is that the misinformation is used to push agendas that are harmful to the industry and highway safety," Spencer said in a press release.
If you or someone you know in the Jacksonville area was involved in an accident with a truck and suspect the driver was not properly trained, our experts can help.
The attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic are dedicated to holding negligent trucking companies, and their drivers, accountable for injuries they cause. We are experienced litigators who have a successful track records of handling all types of truck accidents - including a $13 million verdict for a teenager who sustained a brain injury due to a crash with a logging truck that made a negligent U-turn.
Contact us to set up your free case evaluation.