Bill to Require Safety Training Standards for Truck Drivers Passes the Legislature

August 24, 2018
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senate Bill (SB) 1236, by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), passed off of the Senate Floor.  The bill will improve road safety by implementing new federal commercial truck driving regulations, as well as add additional truck driver safety requirements
“Every day, Californians share the road with large commercial vehicles that transport commercial goods, hazardous materials, and passengers.  Commercial drivers who lack adequate training put everyone on the road at risk,” Senator Monning said.  “SB 1236 will ensure that drivers of big rigs and other large commercial vehicles have the necessary experience to drive safely by establishing a minimum number of behind-the-wheel training hours.  These stronger training standards will save lives.”
In 2014, a truck driver on Highway 17 lost control and crashed into 10 cars, injuring seven and killing 25-year-old Daniel McGuire of Santa Cruz.  The truck driver’s lack of adequate training and experience was deemed a major factor in the fatal crash.  In that same year, there were 10,062 at-fault commercial vehicle collisions reported in California, of which 2,432 resulted in injury and 68 were fatal.
This bill will implement a federal rule that requires those seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) complete a certified course of instruction from a commercial driving institution or program offered by an employer before being issued a CDL.  Additionally, SB 1236 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations to comply with the federal rule by June 5, 2020, and establishes minimum behind-the-wheel training requirements to be completed as part of CDL training.
SB 1129 now heads to the Governor’s desk.