Many of us might not realize that commercial truck drivers are becoming increasingly difficult to find in North Carolina. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration — the agency which develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers — it’s a trend that’s occurring all over the country:
“It has been documented that the trucking industry has experienced a shortage of qualified drivers. In the past, this has been attributed to growth in business, drivers who retire or leave the profession, and fewer young people choosing commercial driving as a career. However, in recent years, the most significant factor contributing to the shortage of qualified drivers is the result of job-hopping. Also known as “churning,” high rates of turnover in the industry account for as much as 80 percent of the demand for commercial operators experienced by some carriers at any given time.” — Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Report on Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Retention and Safety
In response to this growing problem, Representatives John Szoka, Charles Jeter, Chris Millis, and Duane Hall have introduced House Bill 322, which grants credit to veterans who are seeking to get Commercial Driver’s Licenses if they operated similar types of vehicles while serving in the military. After having passed its first reading, the bill is now being reviewed by the House Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs.
If the bill passes, active duty service members will also be able to get Commercial Driving Licenses ahead of their discharge date — allowing our vets to find good-paying jobs by the time they are out of the service. The legislation will also help guarantee that the public is more safely and adequately served by increasing the number of qualified professionals on the road, and more qualified drivers will also drive down shipping costs — lowering prices on consumer goods.
Co-sponsors of HB322 include Representatives John Bell, Jimmy Dixon, John Faircloth, Elmer Floyd, Carl Ford, Rick Glazier, Pricey Harrison, Marvin Lucas, Allen McNeill, Tim Moffitt, Larry Pittman, Nathan Ramsey, Michael Speciale, Paul Tine, Rena Turner, Ken Waddell and Chris Whitmire.
For more information on obtaining a Commericial Driver’s License in North Carolina, click here.