Truck parking, under-21 interstate drivers, more: A window on congressional trucking machinations

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In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, track through Truckload Carriers Association Government Affairs Vice President David Heller’s viewpoints on a variety of aspects of just what’s happening on Capitol Hill around funding infrastructure, including several of those trucking-business-specific initiatives tucked into the House highway bill Overdrive has reported on recently: https://www.overdriveonline.com/business/article/15065998/house-highway-funding-bill-keeps-2-million-insurance-hike Heller spoke at the TCA Safety & Security Division annual meeting earlier in the week in a talk hosted by trucking broadcasting great Dave Nemo and fellow host Jimmy Mac. Along the way, Heller dove into the subject of driver training and the notion of allowing under-21 interstate drivers with extra training, one he and much of Overdrive's audience are well at odds on. The Drive Safe Act, introduced earlier this year, would establish an apprenticeship-type training program that, with assistive technology, might allow 18-20-year-old CDL holders to haul interstate, within some other program limits. Heller and TCA broadly speaking are in favor. When we surveyed Overdrive’s audience in March on allowing an interstate option for under-21 drivers. A majority of readers showed no favor for it, with 63% saying it shouldn’t be allowed, full stop; 15% had unqualified support; and about 18 percent supported the idea with either a robust apprenticeship program in place or a mileage-range limitation. You’ll hear a contrasting view in this episode from Heller and TCA, yet know that Heller has a refined sense for the political process. His thoughts are invaluable on where Congress could head on potential highway reauthorization, or not if Democrats decide to go it alone on Biden’s American Jobs Plan, pitched as infrastructure investment.

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