One step closer to passage at the California statehouse is a bill to reverse a rule for truck drivers.
California law now prohibits professional drivers from attending traffic school to remove routine traffic violations occurring in their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, from their records. The eight-year-old law was adopted to comply with federal rules.
The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to change the rule. Specifically, commercial drivers would be allowed to attend traffic schools for minor violations occurring in their personal vehicles to help keep their driver status in good standing.
The bill – AB1888 – has moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Assembly lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, the bill would not carry a point penalty for affected violations. However, insurance companies would continue to be notified of the violations.
In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated in a letter submitted by supporters that the state may “hold the point count for violations that carry points under California vehicle and traffic law” without being in violation of the “prohibition on masking violations.”
Gatto has said that traffic school provides a valuable opportunity for drivers to relearn some of the current transportation laws of the state. In particular, he said it would benefit truck drivers.
He told lawmakers the change “would keep (truck drivers) employable because they will be able to get rid of a point that they get while driving their personal vehicles.”
Advocates for the rule change say that it makes sense. They say that violations in noncommercial vehicles should be treated the same way whether the driver has a CDL or personal license.
Gatto also noted in the bill analysis that the state’s economy would directly benefit from the change.
“California’s trucking industry is critical to moving international commerce into and out of California, agriculture products from the fields to tables, and goods from warehouses to store shelves,” he wrote.
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