Bill to toughen up CDL requirements after crash that claimed motorcyclists’ lives

The Governor is calling for multiple changes to make it harder to get and maintain a CDL.

Fatal motorcycle Crash

The Governor of Massachusetts has introduced a bill that would significantly increase the requirements for obtaining and keeping a commercial drivers license (CDL) in the wake of a high profile crash that claimed the lives of several members of a motorcycle club.

On Friday, July 19, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced a new bill called “An Act To Promote Commercial Driver Safety.” The bill’s focus is on increasing the requirements to obtain and maintain a CDL in the state of Massachusetts.

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.

Baker’s proposed law is in reaction to crash that happened last month in Randolph, New Hampshire, when 23 year old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy collided with a group of motorcyclists, killing seven of them. Officials in Connecticut had warned Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles on more than one occasion about alcohol offenses that should have resulted in the state revoking Zhukovskyy’s CDL, but the officials failed to act on those warnings.

The bill is now in the hands of the state Legislature for consideration.

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