Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than $44 million in state grants will be awarded to enhance road safety and make the process of obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) more efficient.
The funding is intended to streamline CDL training and get more commercial drivers on the road to address the nationwide shortage. The fund can be used by states to improve their CDL programs by reducing wait times, ensuring conviction and disqualification data is electronically exchanged, implementing regulatory requirements and combatting human trafficking, according to an announcement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
President Biden promotes Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. (White House)
These grants, awarded through the Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI), are supposed to get more qualified drivers on the road who can help meet supply chain demands.
74% Increase in Funds
“The Biden-Harris Administration has made it a priority not only to retain truck drivers in their important careers but also to get more qualified truck drivers on the road,” said Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in a statement. “Now, using funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are helping states bring safe, well-trained truck drivers into the workforce and ease pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions.”
President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a 74 percent increase in CDLPI funds, which will also help address the rising number of roadway fatalities — a key component in the DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy.
“FMCSA’s core mission is safety, and we’re proud to make investments that support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ambitious goal of zero fatalities on our roadways,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “The grants we are announcing today are an important tool for reducing large truck crashes and supporting critical safety programs in every state.”
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Funding to Enhance Safety
In total, nearly 60 percent of FMCSA’s annual budget provides states and local communities with grant funding to enhance commercial vehicle safety.
In addition to improving the process for CDLs, Buttigieg and Biden’s Supply Chain Disruption Task Force have also been focused on the issue of truck driver retention as part of the Trucking Action Plan.
Due to pay, parking shortages and other demands in the profession, retaining truck drivers has been a major challenge. As part of the effort to retain drivers, the DOT has announced that it will undertake a driver compensation study and form a truck leasing task force. It also has clarified what programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be used to address truck parking.
This article reprinted with permission by Bus & Motorcoach News. Read the original article.