Louisiana lawmakers OK vision waiver to drive intrastate

| 6/15/2011

A bill nearing passage at the Louisiana statehouse would bring the state closer in line with federal rules on driving truck with limited vision.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance legislation that is touted as a “jobs bill.” It would allow truck drivers with reduced vision to haul non-hazardous loads within the state.

House lawmakers must sign off on Senate changes to the bill – HB174 – before it moves to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. If signed into law, Louisiana would become one of about 25 states to make the exception for prospective truck drivers.

“This allows a person with reduced vision in one eye to drive a truck in very limited conditions,” Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, told lawmakers during recent discussion on the bill.

Specifically, the bill would mandate a driver have a minimum of 20/40 vision in at least one eye with or without a corrective lens. The driver must also be able to distinguish traffic signal colors, have a 70-degree field of vision in one direction and 35 in other directions, as well as two years commercial driving experience within the past five years.

A Senate amendment includes a requirement for applicants to file with the state a medical evaluation every six months if the visual impairment is a progressive disorder.

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

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.