Don’t Put Yourself Behind the 8-Ball with Your CDL
Many new commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are newly employed
and anxious to impress their employer by making scheduled pick ups and
drops on time, leaving themselves open to speeding violations or mistakes
with their log book. Some without a driving mentor don’t realize
the best way to impress the new boss is to not get any traffic tickets.
But, more than impressing the boss is protecting your CDL from Negligent
Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points.
NOTS and Your CDL
The NOTS points assessed by the DMV and added to your motor vehicle driver’s
record (MVR) if you’re convicted depends on two factors, the severity
of the offense and whether you were driving a private vehicle or your
commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The holder of a CDL is held to a different
(higher) standard than a regular driver.
When a regular driver has a conviction, at-fault accident, or just paid
the fine (which is the same as pleading guilty) for a minor infraction
their DL is assessed one NOTS point; however, a CDL holder in a CMV is
assessed 1.5 NOTS points, or 50 percent higher. The same is true for a
two-point assessment, a CDL holder in a CMV will be assessed three points,
one more and their license will be suspended and they will be out of work.
Either driver will face a six-months suspension and a one-year probation
that runs alongside the suspension and can lead to added suspension time
with further convictions, at-fault accidents, or failure to appear (FTA)
to resolve a ticket. The points accumulated which will lead to suspension are:
· Four points assessed in a twelve-month period,
· Six points assessed in a twenty-four-month period, or
· Eight points in a thirty-six-month period.
That suspension/probation will be handed down only after a DMV Hearing
if you request one within ten days of receiving the suspension notice.
Always, always, always hire a traffic ticket lawyer to assist you with
a DMV Hearing, as they can contest tickets that you would have no idea
can even be disputed.
Top Four Concerns for a CDL Holder
Here are the top four concerns for the CDL holder in CA:
#1 – Log book Hour Violations
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and CA law are very specific about maintaining a log book and
having it available for inspection when stopped by law enforcement officers
(LEO). Knowingly entering false information into a log book to avoid the
Hours of Operations laws is a severe violation of Federal and CA Vehicle Code. Additionally,
it is illegal for an employer to force a driver to log incorrect information,
yet many do not have a choice but to comply or be fired.
Be very careful not to falsify log book entries, carrying your log book,
over-time driving, and outdated log books. So, take your 30-minute break
every eight hours and keep your log book up-to-date and on hand for inspection.
And, when you’re ticketed for a violation, contact Bigger & Harman.
#2 – Speeding
Although a 1-15 mph speeding ticket is a minor infraction for most drivers,
it can be a major headache for a trucker. Particularly, if it is 15 mph
over. The FMCSA regulation makes speeding 15 mph or more over the speed
limit a serious offense and even though a first offense will not lead
to suspension of your CDL, the second conviction of this or any serious
offense within a three-year period will lead to a 60-day suspension and
the third, 120 days.
#3 – Overweight Vehicles
The biggest problem with overweight violations could very well be the amount
of the fine. CA levies fines for overweight trucks and vehicles at what
basically equals $1 per pound. Therefore, a truck that is four or five
thousand pounds overweight could result in a very hefty fine. And, in
some cases, the company will tell the driver, “Don’t worry
we’ll take care of it.”
A few of these trucking companies are not concerned with their drivers
and are just in it for the money. The FMCSA and Caltrans are very strict
on regulating truckers but not so much when it comes to the business operations
of trucking companies. Many unknowing truckers sign rent-to-own contracts
on their trucks making them independent contractors, oh goodness, I spelled
indentured slave wrong. Read this
USA Today article,
Rigged System Rips Off Port Truckers.
One company told a trucker not to worry about an overweight ticket for
nearly $10,000 and then went out of business, only to open another trucking
company under a different name in another state. Do yourself a favor and
call Bigger & Harman when you receive any ticket that could affect your CDL.
#4 – Wrong Route
Many new or inexperienced drivers don’t realize how strict Caltrans,
CHP, and the FMCSA are about the route you are assigned to take from pickup
to delivery, particularly with HAZMAT and explosive material. It may seem
logical after being stuck in traffic to take the next exit and try to
make up time on another route, but this can get you in hot water and a
traffic ticket. A violation of CVC 31602, transporting explosives can
result in a fine of more than $4,000. Stick to your scheduled route and
if there’s a need to change, such as a law enforcement ordering
you to take a different route, get the LEOs information and call in the
proposed new route and get back onto original route as soon as possible.
Call Bigger & Harman
Don’t be a victim, call Bigger & Harman, Central Valley traffic
ticket defenders. Bigger & Harman are proud to provide a FREE phone
consultation to CDL holders for any moving violation in your CMV or private
vehicle. We know how hard you must work to keep your license and that
the system is not always in your favor. Call today for a no obligation
consultation, 661-349-9300. Or, send us an email:
email@example.com. We represent clients in Santa Clarita, Lamont, Bakersfield, LA, Fresno,
and many other Central Valley courts.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.