Young Priorities Included in Surface Transportation Bill
Legislation includes provisions to address truck driver shortage and improve school bus safety
WASHINGTON – Two of U.S. Senator Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) key transportation priorities were included in the Surface Transportation Investment Act, approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Wednesday. Senator Young’s DRIVE-Safe Act and the STOP for School Buses Act were included in the bill, which passed by a vote of 25-3.
To address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, the DRIVE-Safe Act provision creates a pilot program allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and move goods across state lines. Though 49 states and the District of Columbia allow individuals to obtain a CDL at the age 18, federal law currently prohibits those operators from moving goods from state to state until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act pilot program would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21 with rigorous training and safety standards required. The program will be evaluated after three years.
“Today, 18-year-olds can drive more than 200 miles from New Albany to Gary and back, but they aren’t allowed to drive two miles from New Albany to Louisville,” said Senator Young. “The DRIVE-Safe pilot program will address the driver shortage, provide new career opportunities for young Hoosiers and Americans, and make the roads safer.”
STOP for School Buses Act
Introduced following a 2018 accident in Rochester, Indiana, that killed three siblings and injured a fourth student while they were boarding a school bus, the Stop for School Buses Act requires a comprehensive evaluation of methods to prevent the dangerous and illegal passing of school buses at loading zones.
“The school bus tragedy that occurred in Rochester in 2018 was unimaginable, and my heart broke for the parents of those young children. We cannot allow that to happen ever again,” said Senator Young. “The Stop for School Buses Act will help prevent the illegal passing of school buses and keep our children safe on their way to school.”
The larger Surface Transportation Investment Act is a bipartisan bill that authorizes $78 billion over five years to address key infrastructure and safety priorities, including $36 billion for rail, $27.8 billion for multimodal grant programs, and $13 billion for safety programs.
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