New Louisiana trucking laws take effect this week

| 8/14/2008

Three new laws in Louisiana that are set to take effect Friday, Aug. 15, are of interest to truckers.

The first rule change prohibits the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses to haul hazardous materials to people who fail to pass background tests. Signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal in June, it mandates that trucks transporting hazardous materials can be driven solely by operators who pass a background check by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Licenses will be denied or revoked if the federal agency issues a “determination of a threat” by drivers.

Supporters say the new law is needed to address federal rules that require states to deny or revoke the licenses of people who pose threats to the country.

Another new law that takes effect Aug. 15 amends rules on motor carriers who allow drivers to violate out-of-service orders or get behind the wheel without a valid CDL. The new law requires that motor carriers have “knowingly” authorized drivers to violate rules in order for the carriers to be subject to certain civil penalties.

One more new law that takes effect this week adopts federal rules on felonies committed by commercial driver’s license holders. It requires the loss of driving privileges for CDL holders who are convicted of felonies punishable by at least one year in jail.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor