Time to let 18-year-olds drive school buses in NJ (Opinion)
There's a new bill proposed in the New Jersey Legislature that would allow 18-year-olds to have the same CDL B and C class licenses as 21-year-olds. Part of the reason behind the bill is the shortage of school bus drivers in the Garden State.
I spoke with the bill's Senate sponsor, Ed Durr, on the show Friday about the need for the legislation. On the Assembly side, the bill is sponsored by Assembly members Michael Torrissi and Angela McKnight.
Callers throughout the morning show were mixed on the idea. Many truck drivers say that even 21 is too young!
The reality is that we call agree that better training and longer road qualifications are in order. For me, it's clear that if an 18-year-old can drive a truck in the military, carry a loaded firearm and serve our great nation, there is no reason for New Jersey to restrict them from a job they can do.
Perhaps the most important point is that young people need better and more opportunities after they graduate high school.
It's time to empower young people to get a head start in life. Get a job! Instead of the societal encouragement to go to college, which is simply not a fit for so many young people.
So I say support the bill that would empower 18, 19, and 20-year-olds.
We've also learned that even though an 18-year-old can get a CDL license, the bill proposal would alleviate the insurance burden which prevents drivers from actually handling a truck for two years until they turn 20. That's a simple fix that can get more drivers out of school and on the road to solve the driver shortage.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.