Many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers do not consider the approach to a weigh station as dangerous to their career, but it sure could be. If you’re buckling up your safety belt or completing a call on your cell phone as you drive up, it could already be too late.
When the CHP officer shows you the damaging evidence on the video monitor, you might be shocked.
CA Vehicle Code, the CFR Title 49 & a Cell Phone Ticket in California
The Code of Federal Regulations or CFR Title 49, Part 392.80 – 392-82, Electronic Devices/Mobile Phones prohibits mobile phone use while driving a CMV, unless communicating with a law enforcement officer (LEO) or another emergency service. It provides for a fine as stated above.
Likewise, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23123.5, Public Offenses, is where it all starts for CMV drivers and CDL holders accused of using a cell phone while driving. It states, “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device…” that is part of the built-in communication system or a mounted device that requires only a finger swipe or tap to initiate the communications.
Therefore, when a CMV driver is convicted or pays the fine, which is the same as a conviction, that conviction will be forwarded to the FMCSA and becomes a part of the CDL holder’s Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record.
The driver and the carrier will get assessed ten Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points under the firm’s DOT number. A second conviction within three years of the first will lead to a 60-day disqualification for the driver, under the FMCSA serious offense rule. A third offense will result in a 120-day disqualification. That is not likely, as the 60-day disqualification will likely result in employment termination. It will be nearly impossible to get hired at another driving firm with that conviction and disqualification on your PSP.
DO NOT accept the fine. You might look at it like it’s only $150 for a first offense; just pay and keep driving, as it would be for a non-CMV driver. However, things will rapidly go downhill once the FMCSA receives the notification of conviction on this “serious offense.”
Consult a California traffic attorney about challenging the cell phone ticket.
Traffic Attorneys Who Can Handle a Cell Phone Ticket in Woodland Traffic Court
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are California traffic attorneys who can handle your cell phone ticket in Yolo County Traffic Court. We offer a free initial consultation, so give us a call.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The Code of Federal Regulations or CFR Title 49, Part 392.80 – 392-82, Electronic Devices/Mobile Phones
CVC Section 23123.5, Public OffensesThe BalanceSMB.com article, A Guide to CSA Point Values and Transportation