Assemblyman Steve Peace (D-Chula Vista) introduced a bill Thursday to exempt farmers and ranchers from a new hazardous-materials transportation law that farmers said would unfairly burden workers moving small amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer.
The new law will force transporters of any material that requires a special Department of Transportation placard to get a special driver's certificate from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Peace said. They will have to submit proof of a recent medical exam, take a written test on federal and state hazardous-materials transportation rules, and pay a $12 application fee.
Peace's bill would exempt agricultural workers transporting fuel and farm chemicals in farm vehicles if they are employed in an agricultural operation, complete a California Highway Patrol training program and are traveling less than 100 miles.
"My bill offers an alternative program to the new DMV requirements . . .," Peace said. "We must be sensitive to the farmers and ranchers who . . . must shuttle small quantities of fuel and fertilizer for short distances from one field to another."