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SB-158 Commercial driver’s license: education.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB158:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 158


Introduced by Senator Monning
(Coauthor: Senator Beall)

January 19, 2017


An act to amend Section 15250 of, and to add Section 15250.1 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to commercial vehicle drivers.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 158, as amended, Monning. Commercial driver’s license: education.
Existing law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing a commercial driver’s license to any person to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless the person has passed a written and driving test for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle that complies with the minimum standards established by the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and specified federal regulations, and has satisfied all other requirements of that act as well as any other requirements imposed by state law.
This bill would require the department, no later than February 7, 2020, to adopt regulations related to entry-level driver training requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles including specified minimum hours of behind-the-wheel training and in compliance with the requirements of specified federal regulations. The bill would also require, for issuance of an original commercial driver’s license, upon adoption of these regulations, a person to provide proof of successful completion of a course of instruction from a commercial motor vehicle driver training institution, or a program offered by an employer, that is listed on the Training Provider Registry of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
This bill would also make legislative findings and declarations and would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Commercial vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license include a variety of motor carriers over 26,000 pounds, passenger buses, and vehicles carrying hazardous materials. Currently, to obtain a commercial driver’s license, a prospective driver must pass a written and driving test established by the Department of Motor Vehicles that complies with the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.
(b) Currently, showing proof of completing a course of instruction for entry-level commercial drivers is not required in California, and there are no state minimum standards necessary to ensure that a driver is proficient in safely operating a commercial vehicle.
(c) In California, thousands of commercial vehicle collisions are reported every year, with hundreds being fatal.
(d) Without holding commercial vehicle drivers to the highest safety standards, they can pose a serious safety risk to the public. By ensuring that commercial truck drivers are receiving an adequate standard of training, we will reduce the risk of tragic and fatal commercial vehicle accidents.
(e) One of those tragic accidents that could have been prevented if the commercial driver had received proper training occurred on July 10, 2014, on northbound Highway 17, near the Lexington Reservoir, when a truck driver lost control and crashed into 10 cars, injuring seven and killing 25-year-old Daniel McGuire of Santa Cruz. The loss of Daniel McGuire highlighted the need to ensure that new commercial vehicle drivers receive effective training and operate safely on our roads.

SEC. 2.

 Section 15250 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

15250.
 (a) (1) A person shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle unless that person has in his or her immediate possession a valid commercial driver’s license of the appropriate class.
(2) A person shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle while transporting hazardous materials unless that person has in his or her possession a valid commercial driver’s license with a hazardous materials endorsement. An instruction permit does not authorize the operation of a vehicle transporting hazardous materials.
(b) (1) Before an application for an original or renewal of a commercial driver’s license with a hazardous materials endorsement is submitted to the United States Transportation Security Administration for the processing of a security threat assessment, as required under Part 1572 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the department shall complete a check of the applicant’s driving record to ensure that the person is not subject to a disqualification under Section 383.51 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) (A) Upon adoption of regulations by the department pursuant to Section 15250.1, a A person shall not be issued an original a commercial driver’s license until he or she has provided proof of successful completion of a course of instruction from a commercial motor vehicle driver training institution, or a program offered by an employer, that is listed on the Training Provider Registry of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
(B)A person shall not be issued a commercial driver’s license until he or she has passed a written and driving test for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle that complies with the minimum federal standards established by the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-570) and Part 383 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and has satisfied all other requirements of that act as well as any other requirements imposed by this code.

(C)

(B) The driving skills test as specified in Section 383.113 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations may be waived for a commercial motor vehicle driver with military commercial motor vehicle experience who is currently licensed with the United States Armed Forces at the time of his or her application for a commercial driver’s license, and whose driving record in combination with his or her driving experience meets, at a minimum, the conditions required by Section 383.77(a) and (b) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) The tests shall be prescribed and conducted by or under the direction of the department. The department may allow a third-party tester to administer the driving test part of the examination required under this section and Section 15275 if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The tests given by the third party are the same as those that would otherwise be given by the department.
(2) The third party has an agreement with the department that includes, but is not limited to, the following provisions:
(A) Authorization for the United States Secretary of Transportation, or his or her representative, and the department, or its representative, to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without prior notice.
(B) Permission for the department, or its representative, to conduct onsite inspections at least annually.
(C) A requirement that all third-party testers meet the same qualification and training standards as the department’s examiners, to the extent necessary to conduct the driving skill tests in compliance with the requirements of Part 383 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(D) The department may cancel, suspend, or revoke the agreement with a third-party tester if the third-party tester fails to comply with the standards for the commercial driver’s license testing program, or with any other term of the third-party agreement, upon 15 days’ prior written notice of the action to cancel, suspend, or revoke the agreement by the department to the third party. Any action to appeal or review any order of the department canceling, suspending, or revoking a third-party testing agreement shall be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction under Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or as otherwise permitted by the laws of this state. The action shall be commenced within 90 days from the effective date of the order.
(E) Any third-party tester whose agreement has been canceled pursuant to subparagraph (D) may immediately apply for a third-party testing agreement.
(F) A suspension of a third-party testing agreement pursuant to subparagraph (D) shall be for a term of less than 12 months as determined by the department. After the period of suspension, the agreement shall be reinstated upon request of the third-party tester.
(G) A revocation of a third-party testing agreement pursuant to subparagraph (D) shall be for a term of not less than one year. A third-party tester may apply for a new third-party testing agreement after the period of revocation and upon submission of proof of correction of the circumstances causing the revocation.
(H) Authorization for the department to charge the third-party tester a fee, as determined by the department, that is sufficient to defray the actual costs incurred by the department for administering and evaluating the third-party testing program, and for carrying out any other activities deemed necessary by the department to ensure sufficient training for the drivers participating in the program.
(3) Except as provided in Section 15250.3, the tests given by the third party shall not be accepted in lieu of tests prescribed and conducted by the department for applicants for a passenger vehicle endorsement specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 15278, if the applicant operates or will operate a tour bus.
(d) Commercial driver’s license applicants who take and pass driving tests administered by a third party shall provide the department with certificates of driving skill satisfactory to the department that the applicant has successfully passed the driving tests administered by the third party.
(e) If a driving test is administered to a commercial driver’s license applicant who is to be licensed in another state pursuant to Section 383.79 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the department may impose a fee on the applicant that does not exceed the reasonable cost of conducting the tests and reporting the results to the driver’s state of record.
(f) Implementation dates for the issuance of a commercial driver’s license pursuant to this chapter may be established by the department as it determines is necessary to accomplish an orderly commercial driver’s license program.
(g) Active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, members of the military reserves, members of the National Guard who are on active duty, including personnel on full-time National Guard duty, personnel on part-time National Guard training, and National Guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms), and active duty personnel of the United States Coast Guard are exempt from all commercial driver’s license requirements and sanctions, as provided in Section 383.3(c) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations when operating motor vehicles for military purposes. This exception shall not apply to United States Armed Forces reserve technicians.

SEC. 3.

 Section 15250.1 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

15250.1.
 The department shall, no later than February 7, 2020, adopt regulations related to entry-level driver training requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles in compliance with the requirements of Parts 380, 383, and 384 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The department shall require the course of instruction for entry-level drivers to include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) An applicant for a class A commercial driver’s license shall complete a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, at least 10 hours of which must be on an off-highway facility and 10 hours of which must be on a public road. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, every 50 minutes of driving time is deemed to be an hour of training.
(b)  An applicant for a class B commercial driver’s license shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, at least 7 hours of which must be on a public road. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, every 50 minutes of driving time is deemed to be an hour of training.