When it comes to speeding in a truck in California, it is sometimes the
case that the bigger a vehicle is, the harsher the fine will be. Or, so
it seems, however, all commercial drivers are held to a stricter standard.
Operating a commercial truck on freeways like I-5 not only requires a
great deal of skill but continual monitoring of lane designations and
speeds as well, particularly on the Grapevine.
Truckers should also know that it is illegal to install radar detectors
and jammers in commercial vehicles. California police maintain strict
calibration schedules for their radar equipment. Each police department
has its own calibration timeline, but they all must meet or exceed National
Traffic Highway Safety Administration standards. This standard requires
calibration at least once every three years. Chances are if you are cited
for speeding in a truck, the radar that caught you was accurate. However,
it doesn’t hurt to have an attorney check for that and any other
possible technicalities, which could lead to a dismissal of charges.
Speeding in a Truck on I-5
I-5 minor speeding infractions and generally all CA speeding penalties
are divided into three categories. 1-15 mph over the limit is a $230-250
fine. 16-25 mph over is $360-380, and more than 26 mph over is $490-500.
Truck drivers are held to a stricter standard because there is an absolute
limit of 55-mph on their speed and it takes longer to slow down and stop
when speeding in a truck.
According to CVC
22406 (a), no commercial vehicle can travel on California highways at a greater
speed than 55 mph. For drivers holding a commercial driver's license
(CDL), highway speeding tickets are not only expensive, but the DMV will
assess 1.5 points on your driving record for up to 3 years.
Speeding 1-9 mph over the 55-mph limit has a fine of approximately $285
for a first offense. Speeding over 10 mph has a fine of nearly $500 for
a first offense. These fines are also consistent on highway portions that
have a designated vehicle speed limit that is different than passenger
traffic. Many fleet truckers have a governor on their trucks that will
not allow speeding, but many independent truckers do not use those. Even
if you do, governors are often not accurate.
Designated Lane for Truckers
Commercial vehicles must always travel in designated lanes, or as close
to the right-side curb as possible. Center and left lane traveling is
allowed for safe passing, or to make a highway exit. Not using designated
lanes can carry a fine of no more than $500, pursuant to CVC
21655, Driving on Right Side and CVC
22348 (c), Speed Laws.
Differential Speed for Truckers
The cause for California's strict truck speed differential is based
on the science that shows heavy commercial vehicles behave differently
than light vehicles in different conditions. On the I-5 Grapevine, for
example, extreme declines and curves must be negotiated. It takes more
time and distance for heavy trucks and buses to slow down and stop. There
are also only two and four lanes on many sections of this highway. A slower
truck pace allows passenger traffic to safely pass.
The Grapevine is notorious for harsh conditions and unique commercial vehicle
speeding tickets. Not only must these vehicles adhere to the general 55
mph limit, but they must also correct their speed for differential limits.
It is not uncommon to see 55 mph go down to 45 or 35 mph in special zones
within a very short stretch of freeway. If a trucker is going 60 mph,
although it is only 5 mph over the 55-mph limit according to the general
highway law, on the Grapevine, however, a section of the highway can suddenly
have a decreased limit of 35 mph. 60 mph would then be a 25-mph violation.
The fine jumps and it could be counted as a serious infraction with the
FMCSA, two of which will put you out of service for 60 days.
NOTE: All fines presented here are approximate and for information purposes
only. These fines vary depending on the CA Judicial
Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule and the county bail schedule.
Santa Clarita Courthouse
California's complex highway system presents many challenges for commercial
drivers. This includes inflexible speeding fines in very flexible speed
zones. Aside from the safety of your load, priority number one should
be right lane driving to be able to spot every speed limit sign.
Paying a speeding ticket that was issued on the Grapevine normally happens
at the Lamont or Santa Clarita Courthouse. The court's hours of operation
are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, and it is advisable to call
(661) 253-7316 to find out scheduled days for traffic cases. Most seasoned
truckers are aware of the penalties for speeding in a truck, but for the
less seasoned truckers, when you receive a speeding ticket, call Bigger
& Harman for legal advice before pleading guilty and paying your fine.
Your job and livelihood likely depend on you keeping a clean driving record
for your CDL.
Hire seasoned Traffic Lawyer
Bigger & Harman have a trusted reputation of honest and straightforward
legal counsel and advice to their clients. What’s more, we provide
a cost-free, no obligation consultation on the phone with potential clients.
When you receive a ticket for speeding in a truck, call Bigger & Harman
to avoid the possible big consequences of a speeding conviction and penalties
on your CDL. Bigger & Harman represent traffic ticket clients in Santa
Clarita Traffic Court, as well as many courts in LA, SLO, and Riverside,
plus all the counties of Central Valley.
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to discuss your situation or email:
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