So, a commercial truck driver pays the $150 fine for a cellphone ticket, what happens next? That $150 fine paid at the Truckee Traffic Court is only the beginning, like a snowball rolling downhill , it will get much, much bigger. Your consequences on insurance and at the FMCSA level could cost you thousands. What’s more, a second offense within three years is a serious offense that could get you a 60-day disqualification.
Cellphone Tickets for Commercial Truck Drivers Can Be Career Ending
A commercial truck driver or charter bus driver might think to themselves when faced with a cellphone ticket, “It’s only $150, I’ll just pay it and forget about it.” It will likely not be that easy. The FMCSA’s mantra for cellphone use is now, “No Call, No Text, No Ticket!”
Furthermore, beyond the $2,750 fine (possible, but extremely unlikely from the FMCSA) for the driver, the firm can be fined up to $11,000 for allowing or requiring their drivers to use a hand-held communication device when driving.
The rules published by the FMCSA prohibits even reaching for a cellphone, pressing multiple buttons, or holding the phone while driving or stopped at a control device or in traffic.
The least expensive and safest method of using a cellphone while driving is using a device mounted close enough to the driver or one built into the system that can be voice-activated or activated with a single swipe.
The FMCSA rule is very similar to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 23123.5, Driving Offenses, which states, “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.”
What Is the Risk to a Commercial Truck Driver?
According to the distracted driver portion of the FMCSR, beyond the disqualifications and fines, drivers and firms face the maximum of ten Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Points for a cellphone use conviction or paid fine.
What’s worse, according to the FMCSA, the driver using a hand-held cellphone to dial a number must take their eyes off the road for more than four and a half seconds. At 55 mph, that would be equal to not looking at the road for a football field’s length. That would increase their likelihood of being involved in a crash by six times that of a driver not misusing a hand-held device.
Before you decide to pay the fine, consult a traffic ticket attorney. It could save you a lot of money and possibly your career.
Consult a Traffic Ticket Attorney about a Commercial Truck Driver Cellphone Ticket
Bigger & Harman handle cellphone ticket violations in the Truckee area for commercial truck drivers without them needing to appear. Call us at (661) 349-9300 to receive a free consultation. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We can also accept an email email@example.com to get things rolling. Give us the specifics, and we will let you know what we can do.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The FMCSA Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact SheetCVC 23123.5, Driving Offenses