- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming legislative committee has adopted a bill that would exempt farmers, ranchers, firefighters and military personnel from having to obtain a special, commercial-type driver’s license to drive large vehicles.

Under current law, Wyoming drivers who want to drive trucks and recreational vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds need to obtain Class A or B driver’s licenses.

The Legislature’s Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee voted 8-6 last week to sponsor a bill to abolish the requirement for certain groups of people. The committee plans to introduce the bill in the legislative session which begins Jan. 13.

Those exempted would include farmers and ranchers driving large trucks no farther than 150 miles from home. The existing requirements are too burdensome for farm families, supporters told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (https://bit.ly/1vFt2pQ ).

“It addresses the issues of the pickup or horse trailer that is a bit overweight, and it addresses the issue of the farmer who is trying to get his crop to the market,” said Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale. “Every state surrounding us has these exemptions.”

Drivers still would need to have the regular Class C licenses required of non-commercial drivers.

The proposal drew skepticism from Wyoming Department of Transportation Director John Cox.

The requirements for Class A or B licenses could be loosened, Cox said, but not requiring tests to drive heavy vehicles could pose safety risks.

“All you’ve got to do is demonstrate you can drive a Volkswagen Beetle and you can drive anything under that (proposed) requirement,” he said. “It seems to me there is some middle ground here.”

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com


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