Program to expand access to trucking industry for some military members

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A pilot program will offer truck drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 the opportunity to drive out-of-state if they possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver's license.

Under current Virginia law, drivers under the age of 21 can only obtain an intrastate CDL — meaning they can only operate a truck within state boundaries.

"These people that are coming out of the military or are in the reserves or in the National Guard, if they're between jobs, if they're looking for an opportunity, this is not just a job. You can make a career out of this," Ray Martinez, the administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said.

The industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers, according to Elaine Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Martinez said large trucking companies have expressed "significant" interest in the program, which will compare the safety records of those enrolled with those of drivers in a control group.

More information on the pilot program can be found here.