It's always a stressful incident when we see flashing lights in our rearview mirror and then, we are pulled over by a CA Highway Patrol (CHP) officer. California has the most independent truckers and two of the busiest ports in the country, which makes moving violations more plentiful as well. But, I can't believe I got a speeding ticket going uphill on I-5!
How Does RADAR Work?
Radar uses radio waves to operate and has been around for many years to catch speeders on California roads and highways, but laser guns are becoming more widely used in the state; ergo, scramblers, which are illegal anyway, will not operate because of this technological progress. Police radar determines your vehicle’s speed by measuring the doppler shift of the transmitted frequency. It is either set up to be a CO operation (constantly on), or IO operation (instant on). POP radar disarms illegal radar detectors that are owned by approximately 10 percent of the population in California. Laser guns have the advantage of speed detection from a greater distance, and being able to single out one vehicle's speed with other autos in the same area.
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and Speeding Tickets
If an operator with a CDL is caught speeding 15 miles over the speed limit, it will be recorded on their record as a serious violation. If the driver is convicted of two speeding tickets of more than 15 mph over, their CDL license will be suspended for 60 days and 120 days for a third ticket.
In addition, even a speeding ticket in your private vehicle must be reported to your employer (by you) within 30 days. However, it will be reported to your employer on the EPN Program (Employee Pull Notice), which is a program run by the DMV. The EPN Program mails a copy of an employee’s driver record to employers annually.
Since their fleet auto insurance will likely be affected when an employee has a conviction or accident in their commercial motor vehicle (CMV) many trucking companies have adopted a zero-defect policy to terminate drivers even when they have a conviction in their private vehicle.
Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) Basics
The CA NOT system is a lot tougher on CDL holders than on regular drivers. You would think they’d give truckers who spend so much time out there on the highway delivering consumer goods for the state’s residents a break, not add more penalties.
California takes a negative view of CDL holder who violates the CVC and gets convicted. Whereas a regular driver gets one point for speeding 1-15 mph over the speed limit, truckers get 1.5 times the normal penalty. It’s kind of sad for the new commercial drivers trying to figure out the system. Most will not make it and they may have to wait years to get their CDL back.
What would be a minor incident in any other job, such as forgetting to make an entry in a log, could be a career ender for us. Everyone is supposed to fill in the log for the printer or sign in visitors, but you almost never hear of someone getting fire when they forget. However, a trucker that forgets to log a 30-minute sleeper break just violated the law, big time!
Bigger & Harman, APC
Normally, I would not hire a lawyer to handle my traffic ticket, but my truck was struggling to get up that hill and I still don’t believe I was speeding. Have you ever seen some of those hills out there on I-5 in Grapevine? There have even been songs written and stories told about them. Besides, I already had a speeding ticket for 16 over earlier this year and cannot afford to take a 60-day unpaid vacation right now. Who could, right?
When facing a speeding ticket or suspended license in a traffic court in San Bernardino, Kern, Kings, LA County, or many other South-Central CA counties, contact Bigger and Harman for legal counsel. Give these guys a call. I’m sure Mark or Paul will help you out, they have an excellent reputation with truckers in the valley. Call them today, 661-349-9300. Or, send them an email today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.