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FMCSA Accepting Carrier Applications for Apprenticeship for drivers 18 – 20

African American truck driver (20s) standing next to semi-truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a new Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program for young drivers, a program initially announced in January. Transport Topics reported that as of July 26 they are accepting applications from motor carriers interested in participating in this program. Maximum participation in the program is 1,000 carriers and 3,000 apprentice drivers, according to FMCSA.

Drivers with intrastate commercial driver licenses, age 18 to 20, are eligible for the program. Participants’ in-cab supervisors, motor carriers, and drivers must adhere to a rigid training schedule. The pilot stipulates that certain vehicle safety technology, such as driver-facing cameras, be installed on participant trucks for two probationary periods, the first of which is for 120 hours and the second of which is for 280 hours. The article also reported that, “if at any time while participating in this pilot an apprentice is disqualified for a major offense, serious traffic violations, railroad-highway grade crossing violation or violation of an out-of-service order, they will be disqualified and removed from the program.”