Bill would let states set intrastate CDL rules

| 3/19/2003

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-NC, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, has introduced legislation to give states the option to establish their own CDL requirements for intrastate drivers.

"I have always been a strong advocate for taking power out of Washington and returning it to the states," Coble said. "I do not believe that our traditional, one-size-fits-all approach to governing is effective, efficient or economical for the American taxpayer."

According to Coble, the legislation, known as the "Commercial Driver's License Devolution Act of 2003 (HR 1179)," would give states the option to license intrastate drivers of commercial motor vehicles based upon testing standards determined by individual states.

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 required states to establish a new and uniform program of testing and licensing for all operators of commercial vehicles both intra and interstate.

"The principal objectives of this act have been met and would not be harmed by this legislation," Coble said.

"The CMVSA is good law," Coble added. "The CMVSA, however, was also imposed upon intrastate commerce where the operation of trucks may be a small but necessary part of an individual's job.

“We imposed our will on thousands of small businesses not involved in long-haul trucking and somehow expected them to adjust to any circumstance that might arise,” he said. “Under these conditions, I believe it should be within a state's discretion to determine what kind of commercial vehicle licensure and testing is required for commerce solely within its borders."