Hollingsworth Legislation Included in House GOP Surface Transportation Bill

June 17, 2020

Contact: Katie Webster (202 225 5315)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The DRIVE-Safe Act, introduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) to increase trucking career opportunities and help our economy keep up with demand, is included in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Republicans’ Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, and Efficient Review (STARTER) Act.

The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act addresses our nation’s current driver shortage by creating a rigorous safety and training program that enables 18 – 21-year-old drivers, who have already obtained a commercial driver’s license (CDL), to drive across state lines. Current federal law restricts CDL holders from driving across state lines if under the age of 21.

In Indiana, this restriction means that a 20-year-old delivery driver working for a bakery in New Albany, IN can’t take the 10-mile trip to downtown Louisville, but the same 20-year-old driver could make a 500-mile run from New Albany to South Bend and back.

“I’ve heard from Hoosiers countless times that this current driving restriction both prevents recent graduates from finding successful truck driving careers and creates a driver shortage that is costly to every industry from manufacturing to retail,” said Rep. Hollingsworth. “By including the DRIVE-Safe Act in the STARTER Act, Republicans are putting jobs and economic growth at the forefront of their surface transportation legislation, which is especially vital as we rebuild our post-coronavirus economy.”

In July 2019, the American Trucking Association (ATA) released a report on the shortage of trucks in the United States, stating that the trucking industry needed 60,800 more drivers at the end of 2018 to meet the demand for freight services across the country

“This common-sense proposal is both pro-safety and pro-jobs, which explains why it has such strong bipartisan and bicameral support,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “In addition to raising the bar for highway safety by strengthening training standards and investing in new safety technologies, this bill would immediately provide countless, good-paying career opportunities across the country.”

The driver shortage cuts across industries as well. Ninety two trade associations and companies, ranging from the National Association of Manufacturers, National Grocers Association, National Retail Federal, and the International Foodservice Distributers Association sent a letter of support for the DRIVE-Safe Act representing millions of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, paychecks, and investment in our country’s economy. 

“As aging drivers retire and growing online purchasing increases long-term freight demand, the DRIVE-Safe Act provides a path to bring needed younger drivers safely into the industry. We thank Congressman Hollingsworth for his continued leadership on this issue,” said Jon Eisen, Senior VP of Government Relations at the International Foodservice Distributers Association.

The DRIVE-Safe Act does not reduce the age requirements or alter the requirements already in place to obtain a CDL.

The full text of the STARTER Act can be found here.

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