Authorities recently continued their campaign against commercial drivers
in general, and suspicious driving schools in particular, in a Sacramento
criminal court. What effect do these prosecutions have on truckers in
Lamont and Shafter?
A joint investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI,
DMV, and Department of Justice uncovered three alleged conspiracies in
which students paid up to $5,000 for commercial drivers’ licenses
that they did not earn through study, training, or experience. According
to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, the truck schools paid money to DMV
workers in Salinas and Sacramento, and these workers then falsified computer
records to show that the students passed tests they either failed or did not take.
Two defendants have already pleaded
guilty; four others have court dates in the coming months.
Now that there’s a cloud over at least some California CDLs, expect
employers to pay even closer attention to BASIC and PSP pre- and post-employment
safety tests. These Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tests
basically serve as supplemental CDLs. But instead of a one-time performance
on a test, a good FMSCA score requires an ongoing commitment to safety.
It also requires a good lawyer, and we’ll get back to that in a minute.
The two SMS (Safety Management System) tests – Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories and
Pre-Employment Screening – track data like:
- HOS (hours of service) compliance,
- Unsafe driving,
- Driver fitness,
- Crash records, and
- Vehicle maintenance.
A high PSP score may keep employers from hiring you or giving you contract
work in the first place, while a high BASIC score might be grounds for
termination or greatly increased insurance rates.
Some drivers think that if a ticket is dismissed, or the charges are downgraded,
that it’s not counted for SMS purposes, but that’s not the
case, because the government uses law enforcement data and not information
from the courts. So, that fix-it ticket you received may still be dragging
BASIC or PSP score, even if you took care of it. An attorney can ensure that your scores
are as low as possible.
Most truck drivers are well trained, conscientious operators of big rigs
who are offended that others would cut corners on their training. Unfortunately,
the actions of a few cheaters may very well put more law abiding trucker
drivers under scrutiny.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.