Ohio lawmaker calls for English-only CDL tests

| 12/13/2007

Aspiring truck drivers in Ohio would need to have a firm grasp of the English language to obtain a commercial driver’s license, under legislation offered by a state lawmaker.

Rep. William Batchelder, R-Medina, has offered a bill that would require the state’s CDL test to be given entirely in English.

Since this fall, Ohio has allowed the written part of the test to be given in Spanish. Interpreters are allowed to assist applicants who don’t speak English. However, the driving portion of the test is required to be English-only.

Batchelder said the bill is about more than being able to speak English.

“When you have truck drivers that do not speak or understand English, safety concerns increase as it is difficult for them to read and understand road signs in English,” he said in a written statement.

The bill – HB409 – can be brought up during the 2008 regular session that begins Jan. 2.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Ohio in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor