Your July 13 Pre-Trip: Bill would drop truck driver age to 18

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Congress is proposing a bill that would drop the driving age to 18 for commercial heavy-duty truckers, according to a report in the Stamford Advocate. The current law requires drivers be at least 21 before they can drive commercial trucks across state lines. According to the report, the trucking industry sought the change to help address the truck driver shortage. But highway and auto safety advocates have expressed concern over allowing “inexperienced” drivers to operate heavy trucks and work as many as “82 hours a week,” according to the report. The Advocate has more.

2. Washington state lawmakers approved a plan that would raise the state’s gas tax, according to CBS Seattle. CBS said the House passed a transportation bonding measure and a spending bill for projects across the state. According to the report, the plan includes an 11.9-cent increase in the gas tax over the next two years and would implement the increase in two stages – a 7-cent increase on Aug. 1 and a 4.9-cent increase on July 1, 2016.

3. Some Democrats are beginning to embrace a Republican plan that would tax offshore corporate earnings to help provide long-term highway funding, The Hill reports. According to the report, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is the latest Democrat to get on board. “The support of Schumer for a so-called ‘territorial’ system has been somewhat obscured by the looming July 31 highway deadline, as lawmakers debate whether it would be feasible for Washington to pair a revamp of the international tax system with an infrastructure deal,” The Hill said.

4. Rick Knight, a Selland Trucking driver, has been recognized for 25 years of safe driving, according to The Daily Republic. Knight, who has been with Selland Trucking for 28 years, has logged more than 3.8 million miles, according to the report.

5. A fire at a Fresno County trucking facility damaged two trucks and five trailers, including one full of bell peppers, according to ABC 30 Action News. Firefighters say the fire caused approximately a half million dollars’ worth of damage, according to the report. ABC said that although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials believe it appears to have been caused by a mechanical issue. 

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