Missouri bills include truck-related provisions

| 12/18/2008

A leading lawmaker in the Missouri Senate has offered a bill for consideration during the upcoming session that includes several provisions of interest to truck drivers. Among the provisions are rules on violating out-of-service orders and prohibiting the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses for hauling hazmat to people who fail to pass background checks.

Senate Transportation Chairman Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, has prefiled the bill – SB58 – for review during the regular session that begins Jan. 7.

One provision in the measure would mandate that trucks transporting hazardous materials can be driven solely by operators who pass a background check by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Licenses would be denied or revoked if the federal agency issues a “determination of a threat” by drivers.

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

Another provision would prohibit expunging records of CDL holders if they are found guilty or plead guilty with a blood-alcohol content of .04 percent or greater while holding a CDL at the time of the offense.

A separate provision would mandate that CDL holders who fail to appear or pay would lose their driving privileges until they fulfill their obligations.

One more provision is intended to discourage violating out-of-service orders. People convicted of driving while out of service would be disqualified from driving truck “in a manner prescribed by the federal regulations.”

Supporters say adoption of the OOS penalty would preserve some of Missouri’s federal highway funding.

Another bill offered by Stouffer that focuses on trucking would require all shipments of radioactive waste traveling in and through the state to be assessed fees. Shippers who fail to pay fees or notify the Department of Natural Resources about shipments would face penalties up to 10 times the amount of the original assessed fee.

Revenues from the fees would be deposited into the state’s Environmental Radiation Monitoring Fund.

The measure calls for exempting from the fees and notification requirements radioactive waste being shipped by or for the federal government for military or national defense purposes.

The provisions in the bill – SB59 – would sunset after six years.

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

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor