Jackson County Supervisors change truck driver requirements

john mckay.jpg  “We don’t want to put a rookie out there driving these big trucks and get somebody hurt. A skill test will show if they can drive it or not. Make them back the truck up a half a mile or whatever is required to see if they can operate it.”

— Supervisor John McKay

PASCAGOULA, Miss.

Jackson County Supervisors unanimously approved changing the job requirements for class A, B and D truck operators Monday during its regular board meeting.

 Previously, applicants without qualifications or education degrees could be hired by the county road department to drive large production equipment, such as dump trucks.

Now, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have a minimum of one year of experience with the type of equipment required for the position. New drivers will also be required to pass a driving skills test.

The changes are not applicable to drivers already employed.

Supervisor John McKay asked for the additional criteria of passing a skill test for any large equipment that requires a special license to operate.

“If they’ve got a year’s experience then they should be able to drive it,” McKay said. “If they can’t drive it with a year’s experience, then they don’t need to be driving the big trucks at all.

“We don’t want to put a rookie out there driving these big trucks and get somebody hurt. A skill test will show if they can drive it or not. Make them back the truck up a half a mile or whatever is required to see if they can operate it.”

Supervisor Tommy Brodnax said he was fearful that adding “high school equivalent” would encourage students to drop out.

“With the economy the way it is today, kids are saying to heck with school and let’s get a job,” he argued, but later voted in favor of the change.

In other action, Supervisors:

¡ Upheld two planning commission denials, including a bait and boat storage shop on the corner of Lake Mars and Sea Cliff Avenue in St. Martin and a multifamily complex on Campground Road in Hurley.

¡ Appointed Sheriff’s Sgt. Leon Rushing as county fire investigator.

¡ Donated furniture to the city of Moss Point.

¡ Donated $300 to the Special Olympics Mississippi Area 12.

¡ Declared a 1,056-foot private road off Tanner Williams Road in Hurley a county road and allocated $3,500 for maintenance. The road will be called Whispering Pines Road.

By Cherie Ward

News from The Mississippi Press 

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