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FMCSA Removes Camera And DOL Apprenticeship Requirements From 18–20-year-old Pilot Program

admin  -   09:07 am  -   April 09th, 2024

To comply with a new congressional mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has removed two requirements from the agency’s pilot program to allow 18-20-year-old CMV drivers to operate in interstate commerce.

The Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot program allows 18-20-year-old drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce under certain controlled conditions. The pilot was mandated by Congress in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act but does not include drivers of vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

To date, however, only a handful of carriers are participating in the program. Some members of Congress believed the shortfall in participants is because the FMCSA added requirements to the program that were not in the statutory mandate, including registration with the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program and use of inward-facing cameras in all vehicles used in the pilot program.

The recently enacted DOT Appropriations Act revised FMCSA’s authority regarding the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program. Section 422 of that Act states that FMCSA may not require the use of inward facing cameras or require a motor carrier to register an Apprenticeship Program with the Department of Labor as a condition for participation in the SDAP Program.

Thus, the application and monthly report forms have been revised to remove those two elements as mandatory requirements. However, the FMCSA said it will continue to ask carriers whether they use inward facing cameras and whether they have a Registered Apprenticeship Program approval number and will give carriers the option of providing that information.