Legislation multi-sponsored by Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks (R,C-Macedon) passed yesterday in the state Assembly. The bill (A-6051) will exempt the drivers of police, fire, and emergency medical services vehicles from commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements when operating these vehicles, not only in emergency situations but also while performing official duties. This bill allows them to drive their official vehicles to activities such as training and commercial building inspections without obtaining a CDL.
“Our police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service people provide a vital service to their communities and should be recognized and commended for everything that they do. I am proud to say that I multi-sponsored this legislation which will make their jobs easier and allow them to participate in training exercises in their official vehicles, without having to go through the hassle of obtaining a commercial driver’s license,” said Oaks.
This bill was drawn up due to a state law that prohibited anyone without a commercial driver's license from driving official vehicles anywhere except to the scene of an emergency. While part of the problem was resolved in this year's state budget, this bill will allow the vehicles to be driven to activities such as training exercises, hydrant maintenance and other official duties.
The bill goes into effect immediately and since it conforms to federal regulations will preserve approximately $31 million in federal highway aid.