To relieve driver shortage, some US senators want to lower interstate truck driver age to 18

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Congress is considering allowing drivers as young as 18 to drive big rigs across the country.

Federal regulations now require drivers be at least 21 before they can drive commercial trucks across state lines. A bill introduced this week by Republican lawmakers would allow states that join together in "compacts" to drop the age threshold to 18 for interstate trips.

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The change was sought by the trucking industry to help address a shortage of truck drivers.

Yet some voices express concern over the potential change. Safety advocate Jackie Gillan says allowing teens, who have higher crash rates, to drive trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds and work as many as 82 hours a week is a "catastrophe waiting to happen."