The state of Alabama, announced a new law to lower the minimum age for truck drivers to 18, instead of 21, in hope to aid the truck driver shortage. The bill was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week but won’t go into effect until Feb. 7, 2020.
The law will help the truck driving industry attract more people, as we face a nationwide shortage. While it might attract a younger audience, it’s still up to local business in Alabama if they want to hire 18 year olds with CDL’s. As they need to consider if the increased insurance rates is something they can afford.
There are restrictions for the young drivers, which include:
- Limited to Class A CDL only
- No hazmat or passenger endorsements
- Prohibited from operating oversize or specially configured loads requiring a permit from ALDOT
- Limited to commercial driving within the State of Alabama only
Alabama Trucking Association President Frank Filgo says, “This legislation is a win-win for motor carriers, shippers and consumers,” and “The ongoing truck driver shortage, now estimated to be more than 60,000 nationally, is a burden to the economy. With the passage of this bill, additional drivers will help advance long-term, sustainable profitability for Alabama motor carriers and suppliers.” Lowering the age requirement will not only benefit the trucking industry but the economy as well.