Galgiani bill would allow restricted licenses for silage truck drivers

Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, is working to get Assembly Bill 1014 passed, a bill originally proposed by members of the Merced County Farm Bureau.

The bill would allow restricted commercial driver's licenses for silage truck drivers. Because of the increased vehicle weight of newly produced silage vehicles, drivers of those trucks are required to have a commercial driver's license. Dairy operators and silage truck drivers say this creates challenges in hiring workers who possess a commercial driver's license.

AB 1014 would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a restricted commercial driver's license for the operation of a vehicle in the production, harvesting or transportation of silage by a farmer, employee of a farmer, or contracted employee of a farmer.

To ensure public safety, AB 1014 would require that a restricted commercial license be used in specific counties and for trips fewer than 20 miles from the farm. This bill will extend current law for the issuance of restricted licenses for towing livestock trailers to include silage trucks.

-- Carol Reiter