New Bill will make it harder to get and keep a CDL

Today, July 19, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts introduced a bill that if passed will significantly increased the requirements to obtain and maintain a commercial drivers license (CDL). 

The bill is called, “An Act To Promote Commercial Driver Safety,” which it’s primary focus is to increase CDL requirements in the state of Massachusetts. Following a crash last month when 23 year old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy drove through a group of motorcyclists killing seven of them. Governor Baker, in reaction to this accident, proposed this law to prevent accidents like this from happening again. 

Image result for volodymyr Zhukovskyy

Apparently, Connecticut officials had warned Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles multiple times of Zhukovskyy’s alcohol offences which should have resulted in the state revoking his CDL. However, Massachusetts officials failed to act on those warnings. Baker’s efforts are to reduce the chance of this happening again. 

Here are the measures that Baker proposes:

  • CDL applicants must have a history of good driving and are ineligible for a CDL if they have been suspended or disqualified from driving in the past three years.
  • CDL holders who commit two serious traffic violations in a three year period would face an increase in minimum suspension time from 60 days to 120 days.
  • CDL holders who commit three serious traffic violations in a three year period would face an increase in minimum suspension time from 120 days to 240 days.
  • CDL holders would be required to inform both employers and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle the next day if they are convicted of violating any state or local motor vehicle traffic law. Failing to do so would result in a penalty.
  • Employers who hire CDL drivers would be required to sign up for a state driver verification system, which provides automatic notification to employers if and employee’s drivers license status changes.