(WWLP) – Congress is considering allowing drivers as young as 18 to drive big rigs across the country.
Federal regulations currently require drivers be at least 21 before they can drive commercial trucks across state lines.
A bill introduced this week by republican lawmakers would allow states that join together in “compacts” to drop the age threshold to 18 for interstate trips.
Luis Santiago of Chicopee told 22News, “I think it’s better than other things. It will open up more opportunities and more jobs, especially for that age too. Usually people come out of high school and college and they don’t know where to go after their degree.”
The change was sought by the trucking industry to help address a shortage of truck drivers.
Labor unions have said the driver shortage could be eliminated by raising truckers’ wages and improving working conditions.