Trucking Industry: Let Teens Drive

Trucking companies are pushing Congress to weaken age limits for drivers, which will reduce a recruiting shortfall

The Wall Street Journal
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Oct. 22, 2015—Trucking companies, struggling to attract enough drivers, may soon be able to put more teenagers behind the wheel.

Under federal law, states can grant anyone over 18 a commercial drivers’ license, the main qualification to drive a truck. However, few drivers start that young because they need to be 21 to haul freight across state lines. Trucking executives say the age limit is making it hard to find enough drivers, with the most severe shortage is in long-haul trucking, which typically requires drivers to cross state lines.

“Drivers today can drive from San Francisco to San Diego, but can’t cross the street in Texarkana,” a city on the Texas-Arkansas border, said Rob Abbott, vice president for safety policy at the American Trucking Associations, an industry group. “That’s an imaginary boundary. It’s illogical.”

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