House Bill Targets Drivers Without CDLs 3/27/13
CBS 7 News
March 27, 2013
Over a hundred different West Texas companies are accused of it: Hiring truck drivers without a Commercial Driver’s License.
According to TxDOT reports from January 2012 to March 2013 (YTD), 18 people were killed in crashes that involve drivers behind the wheel of a commercial truck without a CDL.
Ector County Judge Susan Redford says drivers with a basic license can face jail time if we're repeatedly caught without it, but the punishment for truck drivers is not nearly as harsh.
So we took these finding to our state representatives.
“I think that you (CBS 7) have done a very good at working to publicize that issue,” said Representative Tryon Lewis who introduced House Bill 3523 to the Homeland Security & Public Safety earlier this month.
The bill targets repeat offenders, bumping up their crime to a Class B Misdemeanor if they are caught without a CDL for the second time.
“A repeat offender could face jail time,” Representative Tryon Lewis said.
The drivers could also face a steeper fine from $500 to $1000.
“Those vehicles are so huge and heavy it takes a professional to handle them,” he said.
According to The Department of Public Safety companies can be audited by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which can lead to fines based on the gross income of the business, but because of limited manpower it can take up to a year to audit a single citation.
Representative Lewis tells CBS 7 they will be looking for ways to increase manpower so that a company can go through the auditing process faster.