New law relieves Pennsylvania-based truckers of fee

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/14/2018

Pennsylvania state lawmakers have been busy in recent weeks with passing measures that cover CDL fees and animal rescues from vehicles. One more bill addresses the use of driverless trucks in work zones.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill that covers certain fees for CDL holders.

Currently, truck drivers must pay at least $29.50 to get a new CDL to reflect a change of address.

Previously SB796, the new law waives the fee for address changes that result from government action.

Sen. John Gordner, R-Berwick, highlighted the consolidation of 911 call centers in two counties in the state. Some residents in the affected areas will end up with new addresses despite not moving out of their home, he said.

“I believe this action will occur more frequently as other consolidations occur around the state,” Gordner wrote in a memo to encourage support from fellow lawmakers.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation there are about 1 million address change requests annually. About 5 percent of the requests, or 50,000, involve CDL holders.

Assuming up to 10 percent of the CDL address change requests are made due to address changes from a government entity, the agency’s fiscal note indicates at a cost of $29.50 per duplicate CDL that the Motor License Fund would see an estimated revenue loss of up to $147,500 annually.

The new rule takes effect in late January.

Vehicle rescues
Another new law covers rescue efforts for animals.

HB1216 permits emergency personnel including firefighters, police or humane officers to rescue a dog or cat in “imminent danger” of harm. The pet’s owner could also face fines of up to $300 and 90 days in jail.

Driverless trucks
One more bill halfway through the statehouse would authorize the Pennsylvania DOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike to use driverless trucks in roadway work zones.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to permit affected vehicles to operate in violation of the state’s following distance rule for large vehicles. The rule would apply for up to three vehicles while working on limited access highways or interstates.

“I think we are seeing more and more that automated vehicles will play an expanded role in the construction industry,” Rothman previously stated. “I want Pennsylvania to be a leader in this area by ensuring we have a law in place to address this issue.”

Autonomous military vehicles also would be allowed to travel in groups. The platoon vehicles, however, would be required to have a person behind the wheel.

The bill, HB1958, is in the House Transportation Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Pennsylvania, click here.

 

 

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