The DRIVE-Safe Act was formally introduced to senate on August 16. The bill addresses the driver shortage affecting the movement of goods within the country and provides enhanced safety training for emerging trucking professionals. This is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 5358 introduced by Representatives Duncan Hunter and Trey Hollingsworth in March.
The driver shortage has impacted the foodservice distribution greatly as it requires the timely delivery of products each day. Further complicating matters, commercial drivers are stymied by antiqued laws that prevent drivers underage the age of 21 from moving goods interstate. This restriction on interstate deliveries is problematic in regions like the greater D.C. metro area where an emerging driver would be prohibited from making a quick trip between Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland, but could make a six-hour drive roundtrip from Arlington to Norfolk, Virginia.
“This legislation paves the way for new drivers to sustain a safe and efficient supply chain for the more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S.,” says Mark Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “This bill also reinforces a culture of safety far and above current standards to provide the next generation of drivers with the critical skills they need to operate a truck in the 21st century.”