Gov vetoes plan to cut age
to 18 for tour drivers

Gov. Linda Lingle has vetoed a bill that would permit 18-year-olds to drive tour vans.

The measure, SB 74, would have allowed those 18 and older to get a commercial driver's license. Those between 18 and 20 would not be allowed to drive school buses or large tractor trailers, but they would have been permitted to drive 15-passenger tour vans, according to the bill.

Lingle said in her veto message that it was not sound public policy to "use inexperienced drivers to operate large commercial vehicles."

"While the industry is understandably concerned with the shortage of commercial drivers, there is no demonstrable evidence this bill would alleviate these concerns," Lingle said.

Pointing to several national studies that showed younger drivers have more accidents, Lingle added that federal law requires drivers must be 21 to drive commercial vehicles in interstate commerce.

"This rule was reaffirmed as a federal policy as recently as 2003. Forty-four states recognize the same standard for intrastate vehicles," Lingle added.

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