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DRIVE Safe Coalition 2019 Senate Letter

Letters
March 6, 2019

The Honorable Todd Young
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jon Tester
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Young and Senator Tester:

The undersigned organizations are pleased to support S.569, the DRIVE-Safe Act. This important
legislation would help to alleviate the nationwide shortage of commercial drivers by providing younger drivers with the opportunity to enter the industry.

Seventy percent of the nation’s freight is carried by commercial trucks yet as our economy strengthens, motor carriers are having difficulty finding the drivers they need to handle growing capacity. According to a recent estimate, the nation needs an additional 50,000 truck drivers immediately, a shortage that is expected to grow to more than 174,000 by 2026. In many supply chains, companies are being forced to increase prices to account for higher transportation costs. This will ultimately result in higher prices for consumers on everything from electronics to food. While 48 states currently allow drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license at 18, they are prohibited from driving in interstate commerce until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act would create a two-step apprenticeship program to allow these younger drivers to enter the industry safely. Candidates would be accompanied in the cab by experienced drivers for a total of 400 hours of on-duty time with at least 240 hours of driving time. Trucks used in the program would be required to be outfitted with the latest safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing event recording cameras, speed limiters set at 65 miles per hour or less and automatic or automatic manual transmissions. The DRIVE-Safe Act will help our nation’s freight continue to move while preserving the safety of our highway system. It will help fill desperately needed jobs and provide younger Americans with the opportunity to enter a profession where they can earn an average of $53,000 with full benefits. We look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation.

Sincerely,
Agricultural Retailers Association
American Apparel and Footwear Association
American Bakers Association
American Beverage Association
American Chemistry Council
American Coatings Association
American Forest and Paper Association
American Foundry Society
American Frozen Food Institute
American Supply Association
American Trucking Associations
Associated Grocers of New England
Associated Equipment Distributors
Auto Care Association
Brick Industry Association
Commercial Vehicle Training Association
Convenience Distribution Association
Food Marketing Institute
Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association
Forest Resources Association
HDDA: Heavy Duty
Heating, Air-Conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors
International Intermodal Association of North America
International Association of Plastics Distribution
International Bottled Water Association
International Dairy Foods Association
International Foodservice Distributors Association
International Warehouse Logistics Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Electrical Distributors
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Truckstop Operators
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
National Automatic Merchandising Association
National Beer Wholesalers Association
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Franchisee Association
National Grain and Feed Association
National Grocers Association
National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Potato Council
National Private Truck Council
National Propane Gas Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
National Waste and Recycling Association
New England Fuel Institute
New Hampshire Grocers Association
Pet Industry Distributors Association
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Plumbing Manufacturers International
Portland Cement Association
Power Transmission Distributors Association
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades
SNAC International
Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
Textile Care Allied Trade Associations
The Fertilizer Institute
Tire Industry Association
Truck Renting and Leasing Association
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
World Millwork Alliance
UPS
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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