A new act, posed by House representatives, Rick Crawford and Henry Cueller, was introduced to the floor last week that will have a much effect on the trucking industry. The DRIVE Safe Integrity Act would remove the requirement from the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot program for drivers 18-20 to also join the US Department of Labor’s registered apprenticeship program.
The Department’s requirement had not originally been a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which gave authority to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s apprenticeship program.
The current draft of the bill states “The Secretary of Transportation shall …, if necessary, remove requirements for participation in the program that go beyond … the [IIJA] in order to improve participation rates and collect sufficient data.” The bill is predominantly being backed by the American Trucking Associations, which had an unsuccessful attempt at getting the FMCSA’ DOL requirement removed. They made their attempt last year.
The Association’s President described it saying, “This legislation offers a timely and essential trucking workforce and supply chain solution, built off years of broad bipartisan Congressional support.”
The SDAP was at first capped at 3,000 drivers but only about ten actually enrolled. According to the ATA “This failure is partly due to extraneous USDOT requirements for program participation that were not included in the bipartisan infrastructure law. The DRIVE Safe Integrity Act would help get the pilot program back on track.”
Backing House Rep. Crawford leads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s highway subcommittee, so he is holding it from official markup until later this week while it is further developed. The bill will be presented with a series of other bills addressing other transportation-related issues. “These bills address important elements of these concerns and offer solutions that will improve how goods move throughout the nation for years to come,” said Crawford.