A new bill aimed at fixing the shortage of commercial truck drivers is getting mixed reviews. It hinges on whether young truck drivers would be good or bad for roads and the industry.
Right now only those 21 and older can get a CDL Class A license in New York. A bill that’s already been approved would allow younger drivers, those who are 18-20 to get the same Class A commercial driver’s license. The American Trucking Association estimates that the industry is short 800,000 drivers at this point. At the start of the pandemic, the shortage was 30% less.
Ken Johnson, the CEO of Leonard’s Express in Canandaigua, says the change will help.
“We feel that by having our young drivers able to get their CDL-A and start to process 18 years old, it opens our industry up to the younger folks,” he told 13WHAM. “We’ve all been trying to find different ways and new ideas to find drivers and get them in more trucks.”
He says these drivers won’t be set out onto roads without help. In fact, he says it’s an opportunity for older drivers to mentor the young ones. You can check for CDL a drivers jobs here.
Meanwhile, the Truck Safety Coalition railed against the measure saying it would make roads less safe. “Teen drivers are not as safe as older driver,” Russ Swift told 13WHAM. “They’re too immature, not enough life experience. Not enough maturity to be able to stand up to the pressures that are going to be applied to them.”
The state still has to set rules for the new law.
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