House Concurrent Resolution No. 5




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Whereas, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law with the goal to improve highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways; and

            Whereas, the federal Act retained a State's right to issue a driver's license, but established minimum national standards which States must meet when licensing commercial motor vehicle drivers; and

            Whereas, the federal Act corrected the situation that existed prior to 1986 by making it illegal to hold more than one license and by requiring States to adopt testing and licensing standards for truck and bus drivers to check a person's ability to operate the type of vehicle the driver plans to operate; and

            Whereas, since April 1, 1992, drivers have been required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) in order to drive a commercial motor vehicle. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued standards for testing and licensing of commercial motor vehicle drivers which require States to issue CDLs to their commercial motor vehicle drivers only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests administered by the State related to the type of vehicle to be operated; and

            Whereas, drivers need CDLs if they are in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets the federal definition of a commercial motor vehicle; and

            Whereas, States develop their own tests which must be at least as stringent as the federal standards; and

            Whereas, this restriction does not prohibit States from allowing a person 19 years of age to qualify for a CDL, because it is limited to intrastate operation only. Such a restriction prohibits a person between the ages of 19 and 21 with a CDL from the interstate operation of a commercial motor vehicle; and

            Whereas, the establishment of a controlled pilot program by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lowering the federal minimum age for commercial motor vehicle drivers in interstate commerce from 21 to 19, which would include behind the wheel training, mentoring, and an evaluation component, would be the first step in advancing the program while still promoting highway safety; and

            Whereas, a FMCSA controlled pilot program for 19 to 21 year-olds has the potential of relieving a severe commercial motor vehicle driver shortage in the States and Nation, and creating excellent career opportunities:

            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby urge the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish a controlled pilot program to evaluate the potential of lowering the age requirements for interstate commercial motor carrier drivers from 21 to 19 years of age; and

            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the Assistant Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Rose A. McMurray, and each member of the Missouri Congressional Delegation.