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Operators of farm vehicles now exempt from some regulations


From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – This month, operators of farm vehicles no longer have to apply for commercial driver’s licenses.

Sponsored by state Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, legislation was signed into law this month to ensure Illinois is compliant with federal regulations that would exempt operators and vehicles such as tractors, trucks or trailers that are registered as farm vehicles with the state from the following:

– Commercial Driver’s Licenses

– Controlled substance/alcohol use and testing

– Physical qualifications and examinations

– Driver’s hours of service

– Inspection, repair and maintenance pertaining to the covered farm vehicle

House Bill 2515 also addresses changes to gross combination weight ratings to conform to the federal definition.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy. We need to continue to work towards meeting the needs of Illinois farmers by streamlining regulations and remaining consistent with states across the nation,” said Bennett.

In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” a major transportation bill that included two substantial regulatory exemptions for agriculture dealing with Hours of Service and covering a broad range of farm exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for vehicles classified as covered farm vehicles.

This law will make sure Illinois is in compliance with the federal regulations to remain eligible for Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program grants and other federal highway funds.

House Bill 2515 was signed into law on July 16 and went into effect immediately.

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