In California, a conviction for an improper turn ticket will result in one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point assessed on your license as well as a $230-250 fine. However, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) will receive a 1.5-point assessment from the DMV for the same violation. Truckers and other commercial drivers will get 50 percent added to the standard point amount for their violations, and can easily lose their CDL, or get placed out of service for 60 days with repeated violations.
NOTS Points & Insurance Premiums
NOTS points assessed by the DMV will get reported to your insurance company and could increase your auto insurance premium significantly. No matter how long you have been driving without a ticket, one ticket could put you in an enhanced risk category according to the “weighted” factors used by insurance companies.
Insurance companies use some of these same factors to determine fleet insurance for trucking companies and other users of CMVs. As a CDL holder, even when you have a conviction on an improper turn ticket in a private vehicle, you must report it to your employer within 30 days. Zero-defect employers may see that as a reason for termination even though it does not affect their insurance premium.
When to Fight
Improper turn tickets are complicated, so always discuss your circumstances with a traffic ticket attorney. Even if your turn was the safest choice available, you could still get cited. Truckers need to be extra wary when turning and changing lanes as there are so many blind spots and they always receive harsher penalties.
Traffic attorneys keep abreast of current traffic laws and know when to fight a ticket. In most cases, CDL holders have no choice but to fight. Many trucking firms now have a zero-defect mentality, so even one minor infraction might be one too many.
Unsafe Lane Change or Improper Turn?
There are a variety of reasons you could get cited for an improper turn ticket. The rules get even murkier when the driver of an 18-wheeler makes a turn because they must make sure everything is clear at every wheel before making a turn from the “…left-hand edge of the extreme left-hand lane…”which may not always be feasible or safe. However, some law enforcement officers (LEO) take that line in the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) literally.
Fighting an improper turn could depend on why you received the ticket. Did you signal your intentions at least 100 feet before making the turn? That rule does not apply in every situation either, although CVC 22107, Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals, states you can make the turn, “…only after the giving of an appropriate signal…” When a trucker is cut-off by another vehicle, the first thing the driver wants to do is ensure they do not hit the car or stop so fast they jack-knife. The last thing they are concerned with is signaling their intentions. Although a violation of CVC 22107 is most likely an unsafe lane change, not an improper turn ticket, some LEOs are as confused as you are about the actual traffic code violation.
When you get an improper turn ticket for being too far away from the edge of the road during a right-hand turn, think of the reason you were not close enough. If there was a pedestrian or cyclist near the edge of the road, that is a good reason to give them some space. If you had a passenger in your vehicle during the incident, have them write a statement as soon as possible after the event that lead to an improper turn ticket. And, ask them to testify for you that your driving was safer than being too close to the edge of the roadway due to the pedestrian.
Discuss the improper turn ticket with an attorney and remember to give them every detail. Even something that may seem insignificant to you may be essential to your case.
Traffic Attorneys for Riverside County
When you receive an improper turn ticket, delivering goods out there on I-5, 10, or 15 in Riverside County, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, before you decide whether to pay a fine or fight the ticket. Bigger & Harman could get your ticket dismissed or get it reduced to a no-point violation, either of which will save you money and perhaps your job.
Likewise, you can send them an email, email@example.com. They will always reply. Even if they are not available, they will recommend another attorney in Riverside who can help.
Visit the Bigger & Harman Facebook page to get updates on lane closures along your route, CVC changes, and other legal advice. Check their Avvo or Nolo page for reviews, endorsements, and feedback from clients. Read Yelp reviews to see what other truckers and CDL holders are saying about this traffic ticket defense team.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.
CA Vehicle Code CVC 22107, Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals
The 2017-2018 CA Commercial Drivers Handbook,.pdf