Via this link, you can download text of the answers I am offering to the FMCSA following their specific questions about allowing a pilot program for younger drivers to operate in interstate commerce, or as we often call it, over-the-road operations. You may well have your own thoughts specific to the pilot program, or as with much of my commentary, relative to broader issues of training that need to be addressed.
I must emphasize — the FMCSA is not proposing that 18-20-year-old drivers be allowed to run interstate without restriction. They are simply looking for comments to get a feel for where trucking and truckers stand on the potential to allow younger drivers OTR in a pilot program, and what restrictions may be necessary (many already do drive intrastate in cases where they can get insured, in some cases quite long distances).
That said, much of what I suggest I do not propose for just young drivers, but all drivers coming into the industry. (I reference a previous blog post about a graduated license, which you can read via this link.)
If you want your opinion heard or recorded, the comment period is open through mid-July. You can submit your considered comments to the FMCSA and become a part of the solutions, not the problems, in our industry.