The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) awarded over $77 million in grants to help states improve safety and reduce crashes.
The funding package, announced on September 25, includes $43.3 million for truck safety technology, $32 million to improve commercial driver's license (CDL) programs, and $2 million in commercial motor vehicle training for veterans. The FMCSA in June began accepting applications for military drivers aged 18-21 seeking a CDL.
Funding for the three programs has increased steadily since 2013, when $38 million was awarded.
"These important grants demonstrate the agency's commitment to providing local areas with the resources they need to make a difference for commercial motor vehicle safety," commented FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez.
The 35 grants included in the $32 million allocated for state CDL programs included $348,000 for Illinois.
"Given the labor shortage facing the trucking industry, it's great to see the federal government invest in our state so we can train future truck drivers," commented U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Illinois). "Filling these jobs is critical for the future of our economy. As the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, I continue to advocate for solutions to the national truck driver shortage."
The largest state grant, $5.1 million, was awarded to New York's Department of Motor Vehicles for its CDL program.
The FMCSA announced in July its plan to expand the types of crashes that carriers can have removed from its Safety Measurement System, which is used to evaluate their safety record. Comments on the proposal are due by October 4.
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