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Driving Off Route with a Special Permit

CA Vehicle Code 35784, Permits and Agreements forbids any deviation from the prescribed route without orders from a law enforcement officer (LEO) unless continuing along that route would violate local traffic laws. Additionally, if the driver on special permits is required to change routes, they must get back on the approved route as soon as possible after the necessary detour.

Truckers with Special Permits Are a Special Breed

Think about it, while you’re sitting at home with your family eating turkey and pumpkin pie during the holidays, truckers are out there eating dinner in a “greasy spoon” all alone. Sure, this is the career they have chosen, but someone needs to move those consumer goods from the ports to distribution points for onward movement to retailers.

Two of the largest ports in the USA are right there in Southern California and many of those trucks will move their cargo on I-5 and SR-99 through the Central Valley. Although most do not require special permits for their cargo, those that do are under a lot more stress and regulation. These drivers with special permits are still required to take the mandatory 30-minute break every eight hours; however, because of their cargo they are not allowed to leave their trucks.

These truckers spend most of their day, five or six days a week out there on the roads moving goods for Americans. Yet, California penalizes commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers 50 percent more Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points for moving violations than their non-commercial driving peers. If you get a two-point moving violation, they get a three-point assessment.

In addition, if you're on a special permit hauling explosive and you get off the freeway to avoid a traffic jam or alter your route in any way without permission, it is a violation of CVC 35784 and could cost you a $4175.00 fine. In fact, any violation of your special permits could result in a minimum $500 fine. And, worse yet, if you were given written direction for the route by fleet management or your employer, they are under no obligation to assist you with your defense or the fine if convicted.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Disqualifications

And, the Federal government is no less stringent. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), just two tickets in a CMV for "excessive speeding," 15 or more miles per hour over the limit within a three-year period will get you a 60-day non-paid vacation or disqualification for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder driving a CMV if you still have a job. Many fleet employers have a zero-tolerance policy; just one ticket and you could be gone. Many private citizens don't realize the penalties on truckers are so harsh compared to their peers. It’s a “Catch-22” in many cases, languish in traffic and miss your delivery time or alter your route and get slapped with a four thousand dollar fine.

Most Truckers Are Smarter than Their Non-CMV Peers

Most truckers and other CDL holders, with or without special permits, when ticketed for a point bearing violation, immediately call a traffic ticket attorney for a consultation. Ninety-five percent of their non-CDL holding peers will just pay the fine even when that means NOTS points and a significant rise in their insurance premiums, which over the minimum three-year period the ticket will remain on their motor vehicle driving record (MVR), seven years for speeding over 100 mph.

The first thing to go obviously is your “good drivers” discount, which you can’t get back until DMV removes the record of conviction from your MVR. Until then, you will be placed in a higher risk category, which leads to a higher premium in addition to the fine you so easily gave to the State.

Contact a Central Valley Traffic Ticket Lawyer

When accused of a violation of special permits for your CDL or any traffic ticket, call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or send an email:attorney@markbigger.com for consultation. A consultation does not always mean you will need to hire them to represent you in traffic court, sometimes traffic court is not necessary, but they know that better than anyone because they are in traffic court representing their clients almost daily and they know which tickets need a lawyer and which do not.

In Kings or Fresno County, where I-5 and SR-99 are large source of traffic tickets for CDL holders, Bigger & Harman have an excellent reputation with truckers and the courts. Whether you have an appearance scheduled in Hanford or Fresno, call the traffic ticket defense team most CDL holder trust. If you have any doubt about that reputation or their service, check the comments on Yelp and Avvo left by clients. You can even contact them on Facebook.

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