Did you know our country faces a serious shortage of truck drivers? This shortage stems from an aging fleet of drivers, increased demand for freight transportation and the process newly qualified and current drivers undergo to obtain their commercial driver's license.
Currently, virtually all states allow individuals to obtain a commercial driver's license at age 18; however, licensed drivers are prohibited from operating in interstate commerce until they reach age of 21. This age restriction increases costs of consumer goods, hurts the economy, keeps qualified candidates from kick-starting their careers in our industry, and prevents companies from filling hundreds of thousands of jobs.
To address this nationwide shortage, America's leading beverage companies are joining a multi-industry coalition in supporting the DRIVE-Safe Act. This bipartisan legislation (S. 569, H.R. 1374) creates a pathway to qualify more drivers for the trucking profession while instilling a culture of safety.
The DRIVE-Safe Act enhances safety and training standards by requiring newly qualified drivers to participate in a strict workforce training program with rigorous performance benchmarks. Additionally, trucks used for training must be equipped with new safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, video event capture and a speed governor set at 65 miles per hour or below. These apprenticeship requirements ensure that drivers are well-qualified and operating drivers are on the roads safely.
The DRIVE-Safe Act, backed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate, is critical to address the shortage of truck drivers. It also ensures lower delivery costs and widens the opportunity for a new generation of drivers to find good-paying jobs in industries that are known for developing talent and advancement.