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National driver shortage spurs trucking industry, lawmakers to consider relaxed regulations



A national shortage of long-haul truckers is leading U.S. lawmakers to consider lowering the age minimum for commercial drivers licenses that allow drivers to cross the country in big rigs.

The age limit is currently 21, but bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate this year would lower the minimum to 18.

Those plans come in the face of a labor shortage that has been looming for years and exacerbated by a surge in package delivery and flood of retirements by baby boomers.

Despite the demand for more drivers, some in the industry are uneasy with relaxed requirements. The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has 160,000 members and is based in Grain Valley, is one of more than a dozen groups that have filed protests to a congressional committee considering changes to the law.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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