Apprenticeship Pilot Program for Under-21 CDL Drivers, Provisions from the DRIVE Safe Act (S.659) - An Apprenticeship Pilot Program was included as a provision in the Senate version of the bill.The three-year pilot program will allow up to 3,000 CDL holders aged 18 - 20 to drive long-haul in interstate commerce. As many of you will remember, TRAA has been supporting various versions of this legislation since 2019. First, with the FMCSA's pilot program (Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0346) and then again with the DRIVE Safe Act. The DRIVE Safe Act has been one of the bills we've promoted with Members of Congress during our last two annual Legislative Action Workshop & Hill Day events. The Apprenticeship Pilot Program is almost identical to the provision outlined in the DRIVE Safe Act but as a pilot program overseen by the secretary of transportation. We believe this is a safe and effective way to explore the realities of under 21 drivers engaging in interstate commerce. Not sure why TRAA supports under 21 drivers? Check out our article Under 21 Drivers, Why is This a Good Idea? written by Brian J. Riker.
Outcome: Much of the provisions of the DRIVE Safe Act that TRAA supports were included in the Senate version of the bill under the Apprenticeship Pilot Program. This is great for the towing industry as we look to engage and attract more qualified individuals looking for career opportunities.
Protecting Roadside First Responders Act/Move Over Law Enforcement -
The Senate bill also addresses another long held TRAA priority – protecting roadside first responders. The Senate version includes the major provisions of the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (S.1386) which has been one of TRAA’s top priorities. Earlier this year TRAA signed on as a supporter of the bill which orders a federal study of Move Over Laws to determine what laws are most effective and how the federal government can partner with states for better enforcement. The provisions also expand the definition of digital alert technology while adding a new section “to pilot and incentivize measures, including optical visibility measures, to increase the visibility of stopped and disabled vehicles”. Preventing first responder roadside fatalities is a central part of TRAA’s advocacy. The infrastructure bill will lay the foundation for a national focus on the alarming increase of roadside fatalities.
Outcome: Much of the provisions of the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act that TRAA supports were included in the Senate version of the bill. This is another major win for the towing industry as we work to increase safety for all roadside responders and decrease line of duty deaths.