According to a recent estimate, the current shortage of truck drivers in the United States stands at 50,000 and is expected to grow to more than 174,000 by 2026. In many supply chains, including those of the baking industry, companies are being disrupted and forced to reduce margins or raise prices to account for higher transportation costs.
While 48 states currently allow drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license at 18, they are prohibited from driving in interstate commerce until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act would create a two-step apprenticeship program to allow these younger drivers to enter the industry safely.
Candidates would be accompanied in the cab by experienced drivers for a total of 400 hours of on-duty time with at least 240 hours of driving time. Trucks would be required to be outfitted with the latest safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing event recording cameras, speed limiters set at 65 miles per hour or less and automatic or automatic manual transmissions.
Legislation has been introduced that would help create a high school to trucking pipeline and reduce the intense capacity pressure that bakers face. Tell your senator and member of congress to support the DRIVE Safe Act!