U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) joined a bipartisan group of Congress members Tuesday to introduce legislation that would promote job opportunities and enhance safety training in the trucking industry.
The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act, introduced into the House on Feb. 26, would allow employers to provide CDL holders to drivers under the age of 21, as long as they participated in an extensive training program that educates them on how to safely participate in interstate commerce. Currently, drivers can get their CDL at 18 but are not allowed to drive across state lines until they are 21.
“The trucking and foodservice industries are economic engines in central and west-central Illinois,” LaHood said. “As I travel across my district, I hear repeatedly from employers about the challenge of finding and retaining personnel to meet demand. This bipartisan legislation will provide high-skilled, lucrative career prospects in the trucking industry for interested individuals and expand the pool of applicants allowing businesses of all sizes to grow and hire qualified and safety-trained drivers.”
Recent estimates suggest the trucking industry will need to add 1.1 million drivers over the next several years to keep up with the rate of drivers leaving the industry.
“The DRIVE Safe Act is a common sense, pro-safety bill that will undoubtedly support Illinois truckers,” said Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association. “This bill will raise training standards, create high-paying jobs, and expand opportunity. We applaud Congressman LaHood and the bipartisan group on the introduction of this legislation.”