The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting public comments on a proposed pilot program to allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 to 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce if they have received specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in military service and are sponsored by a participating motor carrier. During the 3-year pilot program, the safety records of these younger drivers (the study group) would be compared to the records of a control group of comparable size, comprised of driver who are 21 years of age or older and who have comparable training and experience in driving vehicles requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This proposal was included section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law (P.L. 114-94) on December 4, 2015.
ARA supports this pilot program and would like for FMCSA to initiate another one for short-haul drivers between the ages of 18 to 21 transporting farm supplies and agricultural products within a 150 air-mile radius. We believe a larger pool of eligible drivers to participate in these types of pilot programs will provide FMCSA with improved safety data that is more statistically valid. ARA encourages members to submit comments to the agency in support of this important pilot program and request they initiate another pilot program for short haul graduated drivers as well as collect driver safety data from all states during the duration of the pilot program on 18 to 21 drivers with CDL’s operating a CMV intrastate. This is also an opportunity for your company to express an interest in participating in the pilot program.Please submit comments on or before September 21, 2016.
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