In California, the minimum age one needs to be to obtain a CDL is 18. Here, as in every state except Hawaii, truckers under 21 are limited to traveling within the state; they cannot drive interstate. However, a bipartisan bill introduced in February 2019 would do away with the restriction if passed.
Introducing the DRIVE-Safe Act
The DRIVE-Safe Act proposes to create an apprenticeship program for truckers under 21 where they complete two probationary periods of 400 driving hours each. At least 240 of these hours during each period would have to be accompanied by a trucker 21 or older. Legislators say that if truckers can drive hundreds of miles in their own state, they should be allowed to do the same interstate.
Objections to the bill
During a Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety hearing, held in February 2020, various groups presented arguments against the bill. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, for instance, said that the bill is addressing a driver shortage that does not really exist and that it will wind up compounding the actual problems faced by the trucking industry.
The Truck Safety Coalition’s president says that truckers under 21 see a much higher crash rate than other truckers. Having these drivers travel in states where the roads are unfamiliar will only make matters worse.
Legal representation for accident victims
A truck accident may have left you dealing with catastrophic injuries. Any personal injury can be bad as it can keep you out of work and leave you wondering just how you’re going to support your family. With a personal injury claim, though, you may strive for compensatory damages that cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. A lawyer may evaluate your case and represent you in or out of court.