Rep Pushing Truck Driver Shortage Plan

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Hollingsworth calls shipping "very much the blood that runs through the veins of this economy." Hollingsworth calls shipping "very much the blood that runs through the veins of this economy."
JEFFERSONVILLE -

Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-9) says "antiquated federal laws" are in part fueling a national shortage of 89,000 commercial truck drivers. He joined representatives from Mister "P" Express Inc. today in Jeffersonville to push a proposal that would let those with commercial driver's licenses undergo additional training to be able to drive across state lines. He says his proposed DRIVE-Safe Act would allow more companies to hire and invest in available drivers.

Hollingsworth says, as of now, a driver in Jeffersonville with a traditional CDL could drive hundreds of miles north to Michigan City, but not make the fewer than five-mile trip to Louisville. The DRIVE-Safe Act, he says, will let drivers go through more rigorous safety and apprenticeship programs in order to be able to cross state lines, making them more attractive hires for companies. 

Representatives from One Southern Indiana, Greater Louisville Inc. and the Indiana Motor Truck Association also took part in today's event. Hollingsworth introduced the bill alongside California Republican Duncan Hunter. He says they are in the process of building a "coalition of support" to make sure they can get the bill on the United States House floor and ultimately to the Senate.

Hollingsworth calls shipping "very much the blood that runs through the veins of this economy," meaning the driver shortage can have significant economic consequences. He says when manufacturers can't get raw goods on time, it can shut down or slow their production lines, leading to layoffs or cut hours. Other companies, he says, lose sales because they can't get goods that people want to buy quickly enough.

The Republican says there is currently a national shortage of about 89,000 drivers, which is expected to grow over the next decade. He says the industry also needs to do a better job of getting the word out about the benefits and flexibility of driving jobs.

Hollingsworth says the shortage has negative ripple effects throughout the economy.
  • Perspectives

    • Patten is managing partner of Patten Consulting Group.

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