New California laws cover truck rule, video cams

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, October 01, 2012

In recent days, hundreds of new rules have been adopted in California. Among the topics covered are medical certification requirements for truck drivers and video cameras attached to trucks.

One new law brings the state in line with the federal rules on medical certification and texting while driving. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Currently, CDL holders operating interstate are required to provide proof from a doctor to state licensing offices that they are healthy enough to get behind the wheel. Failure to certify by early 2014 could result in a downgrade of licenses and possible suspension.

Another provision included in the bill – AB2188 – addresses offenses of texting while driving truck. Violations will soon be considered a “serious traffic violation.”

Advocates said the changes are necessary to bring states in line with federal standards and put more money toward roads.

States such as California have every incentive to adopt the federal rules. Failure to meet deadlines could cost states 5 percent of their federal highway funds. Decertification of the state’s CDL program is another potential punishment for inaction.

A separate bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will conform California law with a federal exemption on the use of video event recorders in large trucks.

State law has prohibited motor carriers operating solely within California from placing objects on windshields that obstruct, or reduce, the driver’s view.

As long as the federal exemption remains in place, AB2477 authorizes use of video cameras on intrastate truck windshields. More specifically, the cameras could be posted in the upper center portion of the windshield.

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

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