Why truck driver shortages won’t be solved by a lower licence age

Think back to when you were a kid, and people asked what job you wanted to do when you grew up. Did you say a truck driver? Well, now, once you turn 18, you can become one.

But why would you want to? 

The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) is changing to allow 18-year-olds to drive trucks across states. While  48 out of 50 US states currently allow 18-year-olds to obtain a Commercial Driving License until federal law is changed, they cannot drive a truck across state lines until they are 21.  

As a result, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg will create an apprenticeship program for young truck drivers by Jan. 14, 2022. The apprentice truckers will be required to drive 240 hours under the supervision of an older driver in a truck equipped with safety features like automatic brake systems and a 65 mile per hour speed governor. 

But who wants to be a truck driver, and who wants to be mentored by some grumpy dude? A 2019 survey put “YouTube star” as the dream job of kids. I’m not sure if the COVID-19 lockdowns have done anything to dissuade them. 

But who wants to work as a truck driver?