Research / Transportation


Policy Analysis | October 2018

CDL Waivers for the Agriculture Industry

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Introduction
Transportation facilitates agriculture development by linking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and service industries to grain elevators, processors, feedlots, markets, ports, rail, and barge facilities. Because agriculture requires large amounts of fertilizers and chemicals, it needs motor carriers that can safely haul hazardous materials. However, obtaining and maintaining a commercial drivers license can be costly and time consuming.

The inherently seasonal nature of agriculture requires drivers to be available to transport freshly harvested crops, or to provide fuel to implements of husbandry in a timely fashion. Delays caused by driver or vehicle shortages can be costly, resulting in spoiled crops and/or reduced returns. Likewise, the seasonal nature of this work means that farmers, farm workers and certain farm-related service industries need the ability to transport these goods during limited periods of time and for shorter distances than drivers for other industries. Recognizing this, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act of 2012 authorized a broad exemption from many federal regulations for vehicles that are classified as covered farm vehicles and granted states broad authority to waive certain Commercial Drivers License (CDL) requirements for farmers and employees of designated farm-related service industries. These exemptions offer the flexibility that is vital to the agriculture industry.

Federally Authorized CDL Waivers

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Comparative Data Report | July 2018

Transportation

David Talley, Legislative Fiscal Analyst, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Policy Analysis | June 2018

Distracted Driving Laws in SLC Member States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

In recent years, states across the South have enacted laws to mitigate distracted driving caused by the proliferation of cell phones and other portable electronic devices. The extent to which the laws impact drivers varies by state, though there are similarities across the region. Fourteen of 15 SLC member states, for example, prohibit all drivers from texting while driving and one, Missouri, prohibits texting by all drivers under the age of 21. Similarly, 10 of the 15 states prohibit all usage of wireless communication devices by novice drivers, generally defined as drivers under 18 years old who hold restricted licenses. Most states in the region have not implemented statewide bans on hand-held devices; however, several states have prohibited the use of hand-held devices in certain areas, such as designated school zones. Only Georgia and West Virginia have banned hand-held devices for all drivers.

Penalties vary widely across the region. Most states have implemented a tiered system whereby drivers face increasingly severe penalties for each subsequent offense. Eight states have fees that do not surpass $100 per violation, while another five states have fees that range between $100 and $300. Two states, Arkansas and Louisiana, permit fees up to $500 and $1,000, respectively, for repeat offenders.

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2018-2019 Chair

Representative
Manly Barton

Mississippi

2018-2019 Vice Chair

Representative
Nathaniel Ledbetter

Alabama

Immediate Past Chair

Representative
Jeanie Lauer

Missouri

Roger Moore
Committee Liaison

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


The topics explored by the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee include a number of critical issues relevant to the progress and advancement of the Southern region. As the Southern states continue to diversify their economies, the Committee has studied a number of issues to further its understanding of this diversification process. In addition, the Committee has focused on exploring the role of the arts as a catalyst for economic growth and the fact that a thriving cultural scenario is an important consideration in the relocation and expansion plans of corporations. Such issues as federal transportation plans and their implications for Southern states; competition among states to attract economic investment; attracting and retaining high-tech investment; promoting Southern state exports; high speed rail in the South; promoting biotechnology are recurring topics.

More SLC Research into Transportation


Policy Analysis | September 2017

SLC Member State Revenue Increases

Policy Analysis | September 2016

Autonomous Vehicle Legislation and Trends

Comparative Data Report | July 2016

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SLC Regional Resource | January 2016

Inland Ports and Waterways in the SLC Member States

Comparative Data Report | July 2015

Transportation

Policy Analysis | March 2015

Proposed Ridesharing Laws in the States

Policy Analysis | October 2014

SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails

Presentation | September 2014

Transportation Funding in the States

Comparative Data Report | July 2014

Transportation

Policy Analysis | March 2014

Highway Trust Fund Balance

SLC Regional Resource | February 2014

Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Takeoff

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

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Policy Analysis | February 2013

State Efforts to Fund Transportation

Comparative Data Report | July 2012

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | July 2011

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Transportation

SLC Special Series Report | June 2010

The Expansion of the Panama Canal and SLC State Ports

Comparative Data Report | December 2008

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Transportation

Presentation | April 2004

Ports in the South

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

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Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Transportation

Presentation | September 2002

Delivering the Goods: Ports in the South

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Transportation