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NO. 37.  AN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSES AND COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES.

(S.154)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 1201(a) is amended to read: 

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway:

(1)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more, or 0.02 or more if the person is operating a school bus as defined in subdivision 4(34) of this title; or

(2)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more if the person is operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision 4103(4) of this title; or

(2)(3)  when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)(4)  when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 4103(5) and (16) are amended to read:

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5)  “Disqualification” means withdrawal of the privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle:

(A)  The suspension, revocation, cancellation, or withdrawal by a state of a person’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle;

(B)  a determination by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, under the rules of practice for motor carrier safety contained in 49 C.F.R. part 386, that a person is no longer qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles under 49 C.F.R. part 391; or

(C)  the loss of qualification which automatically follows a testing refusal or conviction of an offense listed in 49 C.F.R. part 383.51.

(16)  “Serious traffic violation” means conviction, when operating a commercial motor vehicle or when operating a noncommercial motor vehicle when the conviction results in the revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the operator’s license or operating privilege, of:

(A)  excessive speeding, involving a single charge of any speed 15 miles per hour or more, above the posted speed limit;.

(B)  careless and negligent or reckless driving, as defined in section 1091 of this title;.

(C)  improper traffic lane changes, as defined in sections 1033, 1034, 1035, 1036, or 1038 of this title;.

(D)  following the vehicle ahead too closely, as defined in section 1039 of this title;.

(E)  a violation of any state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, arising in connection with an accident or collision resulting in death to any person.

(F)  operating a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver license.

(G)  operating a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver license in the driver’s possession.  However, no person may be found to have committed this violation if he or she provides proof to the enforcement officer who issued the traffic complaint that the individual held a commercial driver license valid on the date the complaint was issued.

(H)  operating a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver license or endorsements, or both.

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 4103(19) is added to read:

(19)  “Imminent hazard” means the existence of a condition that presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious illness, severe personal injury, or a substantial endangerment to health, property, or the environment may occur before the reasonably foreseeable completion date of a formal proceeding begun to lessen the risk of that death, illness, injury, or endangerment.

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 4107(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Except when driving under a commercial driver instruction permit and accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver license valid for the vehicle being driven, no person may drive a commercial motor vehicle on the highways of this state unless the person:

(1)  holds and is in immediate possession of a commercial driver license with; and

(2)  is in immediate possession of the license; and

(3)  the license has the applicable endorsements valid for the vehicle he or she is driving.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 4110(a)(6) and (7) are amended to read:

(a)  The application for a commercial driver license or commercial driver instruction permit shall include the following:

* * *

(6)  Certifications including those required by 49 C.F.R. part 383.71(a)  that:

(A)  for an applicant who operates or expects to operate in interstate or foreign commerce or who is otherwise subject to 49 C.F.R. part 391, the applicant meets the qualifications requirements contained in part 391; or operates or expects to operate entirely in intrastate commerce and who is not subject to part 391, that the applicant is subject to state driver qualification requirements and is not subject to part 391;

(B)  the motor vehicle in which the applicant’s skills test will be taken is representative of the type of motor vehicle that the applicant operates or expects to operate;

(C)  the applicant is not subject to any disqualification under 49 C.F.R. part 385.51, or any license suspension, revocation, or cancellation under state law; and

(D)  the applicant does not have a driver’s license from more than one state or jurisdiction.

(7)  Any other information required by the commissioner; including, but not limited to the names of all states where the applicant has been licensed to operate any type of motor vehicle during the previous ten years.

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 4111(c) and (f) are amended to read:

(c)  Before issuing a commercial driver license, the commissioner shall obtain driving record information through the commercial driver license information system, the national driver register, and from each state in which the person has been licensed. request the applicant's complete operating record from any state in which the applicant was previously licensed to operate any type of motor vehicle in the past ten years, conduct a check of the applicant’s operating record by querying the national driver register, established under 49 U.S.C. § 30302 and the commercial driver’s license information system, established under 49 U.S.C. § 31309, to determine if:

(1)  the applicant has already been issued a commercial driver license;

and the applicant’s commercial driver license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled;

(2)  the applicant has been disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in the three‑year period ending on the date of application and the applicant had a license, other than a commercial driver license, suspended, revoked or canceled; or

(3)  the applicant had been convicted of any offenses contained in Section 205(a)(3) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982 (23 U.S.C. § 401 note).

(f)  When applying for renewal of a commercial driver license, the applicant shall complete the application form required by section 4110 of this chapter, providing updated information and required certifications.  If the applicant wishes to retain a hazardous materials endorsement, the written test for a hazardous materials endorsement must be taken and passed.  In addition, the applicant must successfully complete the security threat assessment required by 49 C.F.R. part 1572.

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 4113 is amended to read:

§ 4113.  NOTIFICATION OF TRAFFIC CONVICTIONS

Within ten days after receiving a report of the conviction of any nonresident holder of a commercial driver license for When a person who holds a commercial driver license issued by another state is convicted in this state of any violation of state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than parking violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle, in any type of vehicle, the commissioner shall notify the driver licensing authority in the licensing state of the conviction within 30 days.

Sec. 8.  23 V.S.A. § 4116(a) and (e) are amended to read:

(a)  A person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one year if convicted of a first violation of:

(1)  operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle on a highway with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more or under the influence, as defined in section 1218 of this title;

(2)  failure to stop, as defined in section 1128 of this title, if the accident involved a commercial motor vehicle;

(3)  using a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any offense under state or federal law that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(4)  refusal to submit to a test to determine the operator’s alcohol concentration, as provided in section 1205, 1218, or 1219 of this title.;

(5)  operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or other substance, as defined in section 1201 of this title;

(6)  operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely as provided in section 1201 of this title;

(7)  operating or attempting to operate a commercial motor vehicle while the license is revoked, suspended, cancelled, or disqualified;

(8)  operating a commercial motor vehicle in a negligent manner resulting in a fatal injury. 

(e)  A person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if the person uses a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of any offense under state or federal law that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a regulated drug, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a regulated drug and for which the person was convicted.

Sec. 9.  23 V.S.A. § 1709 is amended to read:

§ 1709.  REPORT OF CONVICTIONS TO COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR

              VEHICLES

Clerks of superior and district courts shall immediately report the conviction of each person adjudged guilty in their respective courts of violating this title, together with the sentence, the number of the operator’s license of such convicted person, and such other facts as he may require, to the commissioner of motor vehicles.  The judicial bureau and every court having jurisdiction over offenses committed under any law of this state or municipal ordinance regulating the operation of motor vehicles on the highways shall forward a record of any conviction to the commissioner within ten days for violation of any state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation.

Sec. 10.  23 V.S.A. § 4121 is added to read:

§ 4121.  APPLICANTS FOR SCHOOL BUS ENDORSEMENTS

(a)  An applicant for a school bus endorsement shall satisfy the following requirements:

(1)  Pass the knowledge and skills test for obtaining a passenger vehicle endorsement.

(2)  Have knowledge covering the following topics, at minimum:

(A)  Loading and unloading children, including the safe operation of stop signal devices, external mirror systems, flashing lights, and other warning and passenger safety devices required for school buses by state or federal law or regulation.

(B)  Emergency exits and procedures for safely evacuating passengers in an emergency.

(C)  State and federal laws and regulations related to traversing safely highway rail grade crossings.

(D)  A skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group as the applicant will operate.

(b)  On or before September 30, 2005, the department may waive the skills test required in subdivision (a)(1) of this section for an applicant who:

(1)  is currently licensed, has experience operating a school bus, and has a good operating record;

(2)  certifies, and whose certification is verified by the department, that, during the two-year period immediately prior to applying for the school bus endorsement, the applicant:

(A)  held a valid commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement to operate a school bus representative of the group the applicant will be operating;

(B)  has not had his or her operator’s license or commercial driver license suspended, revoked, or cancelled or been disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle;

(C)  has not been convicted of any offense that would require disqualification under section 4116 of this title or 49 C.F.R. part 383.51(b);

(D)  has not had more than one conviction for a serious traffic violation, as defined in section 4103 of this title, while operating any type of motor vehicle;

(E)  has not had any conviction for a violation of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, arising in connection with any traffic accident;

(F)  has not been convicted of any motor vehicle traffic violation that resulted in an accident; and

(G)  has been regularly employed as a school bus driver, has operated a school bus representative of the group the applicant seeks to operate, and provides evidence of such employment.

Sec. 11.  23 V.S.A. § 4122 is added to read:

§ 4122.  DEFERRING IMPOSITION OF SENTENCE

No judge or court may utilize the provisions of section 7041 of Title 13 or any other program to defer imposition of sentence or judgment if the defendant holds a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial motor vehicle when the violation occurred and is charged with violating any state or local traffic law other than a parking violation.

Approved:  June 1, 2005



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us