|Posted:||May 4, 2021 01:59 PM|
|From:||Senator Camera Bartolotta|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Clarification of Legislative Intent - Exemption for Farmers from CDL Requirements|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to clarify that farmers are permitted to operate vehicles with a combined weight over 26,000 pounds using a Class C driver’s license.
In 2014, the General Assembly unanimously passed legislation which became Act 170. Among the issues this legislation clarified was that farmers did not need a commercial driver’s license (CDL), in order to operate a farm vehicle, or combination, with a combined weight over 26,000 pounds. Instead, the intent of the law was to allow farmers to use a common Class C driver’s license. Perhaps a typical scenario envisioned by the legislation is a farmer hauling a load of grain to market—without needing to meet all the regulations that come with a CDL.
I learned about this issue when a farmer in my senatorial district was cited by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) for having the wrong class of driver’s license when operating a combination, with a vehicle weight over 26,000 pounds, near his farm. Upon further investigation, it appears that the PSP is interpreting this law to require that farmers operating those types of vehicles need a non-commercial Class A driver’s license, which requires an additional road test and fee to upgrade from a Class C driver’s license. This clearly goes against the legislative intent of Act 170, which was meant to reduce additional regulatory burdens on farmers.
My legislation will not alter the distance limitation currently imposed by law, rather it will simply address the legislative intent of Act 170. I hope that you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation so that other farmers are not subject to citations.
Introduced as SB725