Research released by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, a group that represents commercial truck driver training programs in the U.S., shows that driver skills testing delays are responsible for $1.5 billion in annual economic losses for the U.S. economy.
The costs stem from a delay in the driver training process that prevents prospective drivers from securing their commercial driver’s licenses in a timely manner. Drivers are currently in high demand in the trucking and bus industries, but in many states commercial learner’s permit holders, who have to take and pass a skills test to attain their CDLs, are not able to take the exam quickly enough. The delays are the result of a lack of appointments, testing personnel, or test centers, according to the CVTA.
All told, the CVTA’s research found that there were more than 6.4 million days of delays for new commercial drivers, leading to $1.1 billion in direct lost wages for many American workers. There was also a cost to federal and local governments to the tune of over $342 million in income and sales tax revenue. The study looked at the numbers form 2016 which saw these monetary losses spread across 258,744 potential workforce entrants due to the testing delays.
"This report confirms skills testing delays are a national problem costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion annually and unnecessarily preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from entering the workforce," said Don Lefeve, CVTA President. "With drivers in high demand, Congress has the opportunity to address this issue through a common-sense solution that requires third party testing, ultimately eliminating skills testing delays. Our drivers, and our nation, cannot afford to be sidelined as a result of limited testing options."
The research was commissioned by CVTA and conducted by NDP Analytics. The full report is available here.