Louisiana laws cover road clearing, veterans

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/23/2014

Two new laws slated to take effect the first of August focus on clearing roads of debris and veterans wanting to drive truck.

The first new law covers removing debris or vehicles along certain highways following wrecks or other incidents.

Law enforcement will be permitted to remove any vehicle, cargo or other property damaged or spilled along roadways included in the National Highway System which could cause a hazard or obstruct traffic. The vehicle owner’s consent would not be necessary.

During rush hour periods, law enforcement would be required to take “immediate action” to keep all lanes of traffic open. The peak travel times are defined as from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Sen. Dale Erdey, R-Livingston, said the peak time provision is necessary to avoid waiting on tow trucks to arrive and the additional traffic backups that result.

Another new law in effect Aug. 1 is intended to make it easier for veterans to get back to work driving truck.

Service personnel returning from duty will be allowed to exchange their military CDL for a state-issued CDL without requiring knowledge and driving tests. Certain exceptions would apply.

Eligible applicants must have at least two years of experience driving a military commercial vehicle “immediately prior” to application for a CDL or provide proof they were regularly employed within the past 90 days in a military position requiring operation of a commercial vehicle.

Rep. Andy Anders, D-Vidalia, said veterans brought the issue to his attention in the middle of corn season.

The new law also aids Louisiana meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act and highway law MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

Copyright © OOIDA