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By ARep | February 11th, 2013 - 3:32pm
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AMODEO/DiMAIO/McHOSE AGRICULTURAL DRIVER’S LICENSE EXEMPTION BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans John Amodeo, John DiMaio and Alison Littell McHose that removes the requirement that drivers of agricultural equipment between the ages of 16 and 20 must be in the company and under the supervision of a licensed driver over the age of 21, was approved today by the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

“The restriction of operating a vehicle while under the supervision of a licensed driver over the age of 21 makes the agricultural driver’s license for teens virtually useless,” said Amodeo, R-Atlantic. “Lifting this restriction for this very specific population will help ease an undue burden on our farmers.”

“New Jersey has long been known for its diverse and rich agricultural heritage,” stated DiMaio, R-Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset. “Today, the farming industry remains an important part of our landscape and economy. Just as with any business, we need to assist our farmers by eliminating undue regulations that make their jobs more difficult.”

“Traditionally, farming is a family business. As such, our farmers often rely on their teenage children to help farm the land,” said McHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “In order to do that, they need to be able to operate a variety of farm equipment, including tractors and trucks. Often, it isn’t possible or practical to have an adult available to supervise them. Farming is a very difficult and challenging business. The last thing farmers need is to be bogged down with burdensome regulations.”

Since 1942, New Jersey has issued agricultural driver’s licenses and permits allowing16-year-olds to operate farm equipment and vehicles, when engaged directly and exclusively in agricultural activities.

Under the 2001 Graduated Driver License, 16-year-old permit holders were required to be in the company and under the supervision of a licensed driver over the age of 21.

The Amodeo/DiMaio/McHose bill, A-498, would exempt agricultural driver’s licensees from that restriction, provided they successfully complete an approved minimum six-hour behind-the-wheel driver training course. It also eliminates the special learner’s permit decals requirement established in 2009 under Kyleigh’s Law.

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Contact Info: 

Assemblyman John Amodeo / 609-677-8266
Assemblyman John DiMaio / 908-684-9550
Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose / 973-300-0200

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