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New farm equipment law goes into effect

New farm equipment law goes into effect

The law allows Oklahoma teens to obtain a Farm Driving Permit

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new farm equipment law went into effect in Oklahoma on Nov. 1.

House Bill 1962, which Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law in May, allows teenagers between 14 and 17 years old who live or work on a farm to obtain a Farm Driving Permit.

The permit allows holders to operate any Class D motor vehicle so long as they travel directly to or from home, work or school and obey the legislated restrictions.

The restriction include taking the most direct route and only driving within certain hours.

For context, Class D motor vehicles in Oklahoma are “cars, vans, trucks under 26,001 lbs. (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), recreational vehicles, (and) fire trucks.”

Teens, for example, could operate tractors like the John Deere 7R 350, with its base weight of 24,700 lbs.

And a Ford F-150 pickup truck has a GVWR of about 7,050 pounds.

Other jurisdictions have similar rules in place, which have proved to be successful.

“This law has been in place in Kansas for over 60 years,” Rep. Carl Newton, who sponsored the bill, told KTUL. “I looked at Kansas, we pulled the law that they’ve utilized. I contacted the Department of Public Safety in Kansas, they had no concerns and have had no problems with it.”

Some people in the state, however, are concerned with the law.

In Oklahoma, a teen must be 15 years old to attend driving school.

This law allowing teenagers to drive at 14 is troublesome, said Don Hancock, owner of Safer Driving School.

“They are exempt from taking any Driver’s Education program at all,” he told KTUL. “So, if you’re 14, we can’t help you. And to me, that’s a big concern.”

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