Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced last week several measures he is taking to tighten up the state's licensing, including studying whether minimum training standards should be required for truckers seeking a commercial driver's license.
The move comes in the wake of a federal investigation of commercial license tests being exchanged for bribes, as well as the fatal truck-train accident in March that focused attention on a trucker with a bad driving record.
Starting in August, motorists and truckers with suspended licenses must take eight hours of defensive driving courses to get back on the road — double the amount currently required.
Drivers who seek a probationary permit while the license is suspended also will have to pass a written test. And out-of-state truckers must pass the Illinois commercial driver's test to be licensed here.
Tests for commercial licenses will be administered by computer as early as this fall. White says this will reduce the chance that commercial licenses could be sold for bribes.
White also announced the creation of committees to study whether to change the current policy of giving court supervision — a fine but no record of an arrest — for minor traffic violations and whether truck drivers should attend a driving school before being licensed.