SCS/SB 411 - This act modifies Missouri's commercial motor vehicle law to conform with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
The act modifies several definitions contained in the "Uniform Commercial Driver's License Act" (Sections 302.700 to 302.780). Most notably, the act provides definitions for the terms "electronic device", "mobile telephone", and "texting". In addition, the act modifies the definition of the term "serious traffic violation" to include violating a state or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control prohibiting texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle and violating a state or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control restricting or prohibiting the use of a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. The act also modifies the term "disqualification" so that commercial driver's instruction permit holders are held to the same standards and disqualification penalties as commercial driver's license holders (Section 302.700).
Under the terms of this act, all applicants for a commercial driver's license shall have maintained the appropriate class of commercial driver's instruction permit issued by this state or any other state for a minimum of 14 calendar days prior to the date of completing skills testing (Section 302.720).
Under current law, the commercial motor vehicle driving skills test may be waived under certain circumstances for members of the military. Currently, one of the conditions for obtaining a waiver is that the applicant must be regularly employed in a job requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle and has operated the vehicle for at least 60 days during the two years immediately preceding application for a commercial driver's license. This act qualifies this condition by providing that the applicant must be regularly employed "within the last 90 days in a military position" in order to obtain the skills test waiver (section 302.720).
This act modifies the provisions pertaining to nonresident commercial drivers licenses. Under the act, the term "nonresident" is changed to "nondomiciled" and the provisions for obtaining a nondomiciled commercial driver's license are changed to reflect that such applicants can obtain commercial driver's instruction permits as well (Section 302.735).
The act provides that commercial driver's instruction permits must include the same data elements as commercial driver's licenses and must also contain the words "CDL PERMIT" or "COMMERCIAL LEARNER PERMIT" (Section 302.740).
This act provides that disqualification periods must be in addition to any other previous periods of disqualification in a manner consistent with federal law, except when the major or serious violations are a result of the same incident (Section 302.755).
Under current law, texting while driving is limited to persons under the age of 21 and excludes the majority of commercial driver's license holders. Under this act, a person convicted of texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle or convicted of using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle, may have his or her commercial driver's license disqualified. Under the act, texting while driving and using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle has been defined as a serious traffic violation under Section 302.700. The disqualification provisions for such violations may be found under Section 302.755.5. In addition, this act makes it an infraction for a person to use a hand-held mobile telephone or engage in texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle in a manner proscribed by the federal motor carrier safety regulations (Section 304.820).
The provisions of this act may also be found in the truly agreed to versions of SB 43, SB 51, and HB 103 (2013).