Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, along with governors from 14 other states, have pledged to assist the trucking industry in an initiative called Operation Open Road.
Addressing regulatory burdens, the governors will modify weight, size, or load restrictions to allow more cargo to move more efficiently.
The governors will also adjust hours-of-service constraints to give truck drivers more flexibility, as well as increase the number of commercial truck drivers by deregulating education and occupational barriers to licensure.
Further, the governors asked the federal government to lower the age of commercial driver’s license holders from 21 to 18 years and suspend the federal mandate for COVID-19 vaccines for the trucking and transportation industry.
They intend such measures to reduce additional barriers to employment.
Additionally, the governors asked the federal Government to revise any federal policies that prevent use or domestic manufacturing of essential transportation equipment, including intermodal containers, chassis, and automobiles, trucks, and tractor trailers.
As part of Operation Open Road, the 15 governors have also agreed to convene state agencies in transportation, commerce, workforce, and related fields to coordinate with private industry, local governments, and neighboring states.
The governors intend this public/private coordination to ensure greater efficiency and data sharing among shippers and receivers at ports, distribution points, storage facilities, and other intrastate corridors.
Governors of states with coastal ports have agreed to help their ports operate at full capacity, increase tonnage capacity, and accept more Panamax ships waiting off the west coast.
Other governors who are members of the coalition, in addition to Tennessee's Bill Lee, are Doug Ducey (AZ), Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Brad Little (ID), Kim Reynolds (IA), Larry Hogan (MD), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Doug Burgum (ND), Mike DeWine (OH), Kevin Stitt (OK), Henry McMaster (SC), and Greg Abbott (TX).