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Truck drivers will not be part of Utah’s recent travel advisory which requires adults who enter the state to complete an online form asking whether they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. 

In efforts to slow the spread of the infectious disease COVID-19, Governor Gary Herbert released an executive order that establishes a protocol for those crossing the border. All adults must fill out a form within three hours of entry about their current health situation and the potential risks of infection. 

Originally, truck drivers were included in the executive order but later were exempted along with other essential workers such as airline personnel and first responders. It took the Nevada Trucking Association (NTA), in league with the American Trucking Associations, Utah Trucking Association, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to point out the governor’s edict was unconstitutional.

In a press release, the NTA said, “We appreciate the governor’s office for recognizing the operational burden the requirement puts on the trucking industry and others that are responding to this public health emergency.” 

NTA leaders correctly pointed out at the time of the Utah governor’s original announcement that such “an impediment to interstate commerce” had been one of the key reasons why the United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation in 1789. The founding fathers were worried that states could block commerce for any variety of reasons which could be judged as discriminatory. 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.

“Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the Department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Drivers ages 18-20 may currently only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce.  In July 2018, USDOT announced https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/new-usdot-pilot-program-provides-boost-military-recruitment the details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18- to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

Today’s action requests comments on a second pilot program to allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.  FMCSA requests comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.

“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry while maintaining the highest level of safety.  We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/15/2019-09944/commercial-drivers-licenses-pilot-program-to-allow-drivers-under-21-to-operate-commercial-motor