(WHNT) — Teenage truckers could soon be allowed to cross state lines as the industry struggles to find drivers during the labor shortage.

The Alabama Trucking Association (ATA) says there has been a shortage of drivers for years. However, the pandemic worsened the situation.

A new pilot program would let drivers ages 18-20 go on longer routes – crossing state lines. In 2019, Alabama lawmakers allowed for drivers 18 and up to apply for a commercial drivers license. ATA CEO Mark Colson says motorists should not be concerned about younger truck drivers on the road.

“Not just any 18, 19, or 20-year-old can jump behind the wheel of a truck,” Colson said. “They have to go through a very serious training program and meet job proficiencies before they can do so. Our argument has been those that go through that program will likely be some of the safest drivers on the road.”

The federal government is expected to release new information in the next few days about the pilot program and how to get involved.