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A CDL Holder’s Top Four Concerns on CA Freeways

undefinedIn this article, we will discuss four of a CDL holder’s top concerns while driving on California’s freeways. The four concerns we are discussing today are speeding, overweight trucks, unauthorized routes, and logbook violations. Even though the number of logbook violations has declined since the activation of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD), this is still a top concern for drivers.

Top Concern #1 – Speeding

1-15 mph over the limit speeding tickets are minor infractions for non-commercial vehicle drivers, but commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) convicted of speeding also receive Compatibility, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) points for speeding just six mph over the limit in addition to the 1.5 CA Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points and fine. FMCSA considers a conviction of speeding 15 mph or over an acute violation, two of which in a CMV within three years will lead to a 60-day disqualification.

#2 – Overweight Trucks

CHP manages the weight stations in CA, and there are hundreds across the state. Most are automated so that the trucks get weighed as they roll across the mechanisms placed in the freeways. Those in compliance are waved through and can keep rolling to their drop point. However, those overweight trucks flagged for further inspection could get a ticket for an overweight truck and other inspection shortcomings. Fines for overweight vehicles have a base fine and a total fine that approximates a dollar for each pound they are overweight. Imagine being several thousands of pounds overweight, which is easier than most would expect. When you don’t know how much your truck weighs, you could be in for a rude awakening.

#3 – Wrong Routes & Unauthorized Stopping

Many inexperienced hazardous material (HazMat) drivers don’t know they must carry CHP-approved maps for their assigned routes. Taking a detour to avoid a traffic jam or stopping for coffee at a stop not authorized can result in a $4,175 fine if convicted.

It might appear logical to go around a traffic jam or accident site on the highway, but without authorization or direction from law enforcement, you could get a misdemeanor ticket for violation of CVC 31602 (a-c), Transportation of Explosives.

#4 – Log Book & Hours of Service (HOS) Violations

Since the inception of the Congressionally mandated ELD, the number of logbook violations reported have declined. At least a portion of those decreased numbers can be attributed to the grace period allowed by the FMCSA from 18 December 2017 through 1 April 2018. The grace period was designed to allow law enforcement and drivers to familiarize themselves with the system and inspection standards.

Report of Duty Status (RODS) changes are mostly managed by the ELD, but some information is permanent, while others require operator intervention to enter. It’s a little more complicated to make the process of keeping logs that report driving HOS automatic.

A driver can still manipulate the system and circumvent HOS regulations by entering another user’s DOT # or the identity of a non-driver who usually fuels the vehicle. However, falsifying log books is a misdemeanor crime and and for carriers to allow the action is an acute violation.

Preventing these Top Concerns from Becoming Violations for CDL Holders

The number one method of preventing these concerns from becoming financial burdens on the driver or the carrier is always knowing your truck’s speed, weight, route, and maintaining log books properly. However, the reality is many drivers feel they have no choice but to do as ordered by fleet management or face employment termination, and everyone makes an occasional mistake.

When errors occur, and you violate the speed limit or weight standards, you will need to consult with a traffic ticket lawyer to determine the best course of action to avoid a conviction.

Tulare County Traffic Ticket Attorneys

When you receive a ticket or violation on 65, 99, or 198 near Porterville or Visalia, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, for a free consultation regarding your situation. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

We are traffic ticket attorneys who specialize in traffic law. We do not practice other areas of law, which has allowed us to become traffic law experts. Furthermore, we have worked with a lot of CDL holders in traffic courts across Central Valley and understand their needs. This also allowed us to learn the characteristics of many traffic court judges and how they have ruled in specific circumstances.

Send an email to attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

CVC 22406, Other Speed Laws

CVC 35551, Axle Limits

CVC 31602 (a-c), Transportation of Explosives

The FMCSA Interstate Drivers Guide to Hours of Service

California Superior Court Bail Schedule