Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedSome novice truck and trailer drivers believe the old myth that you must get up ahead of steam going downhill to get up the next one. When you are caught speeding, it is not a valid defense to say, “I was going downhill and needed to get going a little faster to get up the next hill.” Law enforcement officers (LEO) and traffic court judges will not accept this reasoning either. Seasoned truck drivers would not even attempt such a story.

When CDL holders get convicted of speeding in their commercial motor vehicle (CMV), it is not just a small fine and go on your way like their non-CMV peers. They get assessed 50 percent more Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points, Compatibility, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) points, a more substantial fine, and there is a strong possibility of them getting terminated from their employment. The turnover rate at large trucking firms is over 90 percent, even with a nationwide driver shortage.

CMV NOTS Points Explained

When a non-CMV driver gets convicted for speeding 1-15 mph over the speed limit, 16-24 mph over, or 25 mph over the limit but less than 100 mph, the DMV assesses one NOTS point. Major infractions and many misdemeanors count as three NOTS points instead of the two assessed to non-CMV drivers.

However, the DMV will consider the CDL holder’s increased exposure to allow more NOTS points before a suspension. A driver who goes before a DMV Hearing could be given six NOTS points in a 12-month period, eight NOTS points within 24, and ten during a 36-month period. Read the DMV NOTS page “Conditions for Higher Point Count” for more details, but the basic qualifications for this are: the driver has to request and appear at a DMV Hearing; cannot have endorsements for an ambulance, paratransit, school bus, tour bus, farm labor, or HazMat; and cannot have had four points during a twelve-month timeframe, six within 24, or eight within a 36-month period that were assessed due to operating a non-CMV.

The driver does not need legal representation according to the law. However, a traffic ticket attorney has a more current awareness of CA traffic law and what tickets might be eligible for removal due to changes in the law or those that are not valid. Order a copy of your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) here, and your Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) here. Although the PSP might not be important for the DMV Hearing, it is good for an attorney to look over the information there in case anything is amiss.

The Different Levels of CSA Points for Speeding

The three levels of severity point the CSA assesses for speeding convictions are:

  • Four severity points when convicted for a speeding ticket 6-10 mph over the limit
  • Seven severity points when convicted for a speeding ticket 11-14 mph over the limit
  • Ten severity points when convicted for a speeding ticket 15 mph over the limit or more and all speed violations within a posted construction zone when workers are present

Time weights would multiply the assessed severity points by three if a carrier or driver received another conviction in the same BASICs category during the previous six months. Time weights double the severity points for convictions within six to twelve months but return to the severity point face value after twelve months and disappear for carriers after 24 months. It will remain on the driver’s PSP for 36 months.

The score for a carrier gets adjusted by a formula that figures in exposure. The Safety Management System (SMS) formula for percentiles, which could trigger more roadside inspections for their drivers by using the DOT number, and interventions for the carrier are complex. These get calculated by the carrier’s vehicle totals and vehicle types, such as flatbeds, combination trailers, HazMat vehicles, etc. There is also a utilization factor you can derive using the total number of miles driven. See the chart here.

The FMCSA Disqualification for Speeding

The FMSCA regulation considers speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit a serious violation. Two such convictions or more during a three-year timeframe will result in a 60-day disqualification by the FMCSA. Subsequent convictions during that three years get you double the disqualification time or 120 days.

Most fleet managers will not wait for a driver to come back from the disqualification and, with it on their PSP, it might be impossible to get another driving job during the ten-year period it will remain there.

Avoiding Speeding Tickets

Every year CDL holders receive almost three-quarters of a million speeding tickets. Whereas there are no perfect ways to keep from getting a speeding ticket, there are ways to reduce your chances of getting one.

Always drive below the speed limit. Slowdown for construction zones, in the areas around schools, and during limited visibility.

It might seem impossible if you are approaching a delivery deadline and you got stuck in traffic for hours, or you had to wait at the loading bay. And, by the way, you still have that mandatory break of 30-minutes before driving eight hours.

Therefore, CDL holders must challenge every speeding ticket. Don’t go it alone, consult with a speeding ticket attorney.

Kern County Speeding Ticket Attorneys

Bigger & Harman are Kern County speeding ticket attorneys. We have a solid reputation in traffic courts in Delano, Bakersfield, Mojave, Ridgecrest, Shafer, and Lamont. Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, at our office in Bakersfield. The initial consultation is free, and you are never under any obligation to continue.

Give us the specifics of your speeding ticket. We will offer you a flat rate to assist you in resolving your ticket. The price will never change no matter how many court appearances we must make to resolve your ticket.

Likewise, when you need representation at a DMV Hearing, we will look over your driving record and let you know what we can do.

Raman B., from Bakersfield says, I highly recommend these guys if you got any traffic ticket just call them they will take care of that. I got a speeding ticket they dismissed that one and saved my commercial license and points. Thank you so much guys.” Although we cannot promise a dismissal or reduced points in every case, we do promise your ticket will be our top priority until resolved.

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

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The DMV.CA.GOV MVR website

The DMV.CA.GOV NOTS website

The Traction article, “Violations & Scoring”

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