UniteGPS – On Tuesday, April 5, New Jersey Senator Edward Durr spoke with Bill Spadea broadcasted over WKXW (101.5 FM) to discuss new legislation aiming to lower the minimum school bus driver age to 18.
During this three-minute discussion, the New Jersey lawmaker touched upon what UniteGPS has been advocating all this time: changing the minimum age for school bus drivers in response to ongoing hiring woes debilitating districts from across the country..
Stressing the importance of judging the merit of each individual driver, Senator Durr provided candid responses about placing restrictions on age.
“I do think it is arbitrary about the age limit. 18-year-olds are allowed to vote, right?” said Senator Durr, who is drafting the bill with Assemblyman Michael Torrissi and Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight in New Jersey.
“They’re considered adults, I think 18-year-olds served in World War Two and died on the beaches. So to go and say that this person was not qualified. It’s each individual. I know drivers who have been driving for 30 years and I wouldn’t trust them with my dog in their car, let alone driving a tractor-trailer.”
Minimum school bus driver age in NJ
Experience is the ultimate factor behind strong drivers for Senator Durr, acknowledging how young people who grew up in rural areas often have the ability to safely operate a school bus.
“I think the more time behind the wheel, the more skill you gain,” said Senator Durr, whose father taught him how to drive a dump truck as a teenager before he even knew the definition of a CDL. “That’s why I say you have your outliers. You have these young men and women who work on farms who have been driving the heavy tractors, pulley equipment, and everything.”
During the radio interview, Senator Durr also stressed that this bill wouldn’t be changing the legal driving age for tractor trailers, but primarily for school buses in support of districts desperately searching for enough drivers.
“We know the schools are suffering for school bus drivers right now,” said Senator Durr, noting that the legislation will change the age for Class C and B licenses.
Considering that the UniteGPS team has advocated for student driver programs and changing the legal driving age, this is nothing short of a miracle. This is the legislation we’re talking about here to make meaningful change in the student transportation industry.
As Spadea said on-air, “It’s just common sense. Open this up. I love it.”