With all due respect, your paper’s opinion shows support for Alabama House Bill 479, which I feel will be a disaster to innocent drivers and passengers on Alabama highways.

This law would allow 18-year-olds to secure CDL licenses to operate semi-trucks with 40,000-pound payloads on our highways. As you must know, statistics have shown that for the past 50 years, this age group of drivers is the highest liability risk on the highways. As I’m sure you must know, driver liability insurance premiums are dramatically reduced at the age of not 21, but 25 for male drivers. Surely you will agree that this tells us something about age, maturity and responsibility. This law would pose a greater risk to all who travel our highways.

I feel this law, with unintended consequences, will promote many kids 18 and under to consider dropping out of high school as to get a “high-paying” job. Not good!

Yes, the trucking industry may be having trouble getting enough drivers, and I will offer this possible solution to help solve the problem. Comply with the current law on the age for CDLs and raise pay to attract more – and more responsible – drivers while improving long run profitability through fewer accidents.

For someone to say this law to lower the CDL age from 21 to 18 will have a positive impact on commerce and industry is absurd. Just the opposite.

George W. Trotter


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