SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of efforts to improve roadway safety with commercial vehicles, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, teamed up with the Secretary of State to pass a plan to update commercial driving restrictions due to drug and alcohol failures, encourage safer procedures around railroad crossings and extend the validity of commercial learner’s permits (CLP).
“We want to make sure that drivers behind the wheel of semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are responsible and operating in a safe manner,” Hoffman said. “The Secretary of State saw an opportunity to update and clarify our rules in a way that makes our roads safer, and I’m happy to see this effort pass the General Assembly and head to the governor.”
Hoffman led passage of House Bill 3149 which targets commercial vehicle safety in multiple ways, including:
- Restricting those who have violated the drug and alcohol provisions of federal regulation 49 CFR 382 from performing safety-sensitive functions until they meet return-to-duty requitements and have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) or CLP reinstated. 49 CFR 382 outlines the requirements for drug and alcohol testing, and establishes procedures for the test of drivers – including pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and return-to-duty testing.
- Further clarifying commercial motor vehicles must exercise appropriate caution when approaching a railroad crossing, including stopping not less than 15 feet in front of a crossing. Certain vehicles, including school buses, commercial vehicles carrying passengers for hire and vehicles carrying hazardous materials must stop before crossing. No vehicles are allowed to block the railway crossing.
- Extending the validity of CLPs from 180 days to one year, as well as additional administrative changes.
“We’ve all seen videos of trucks getting stuck on train tracks and the resulting consequence,” Hoffman said. “Let’s make sure we’re responsibly emphasizing the importance of safe behavior around railway crossings.”
House Bill 3149 passed the General Assembly without opposition, and will now head to the governor for approval.
For more information, please contact RepJayHoffman@gmail.com.