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What Do I Do with This Cell Phone Ticket I Got in My Truck

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Having reservations or second thoughts about hiring a traffic attorney to fight a cell phone ticket in your non-commercial vehicle is understandable. When you consider paying the fine of about $162 for a first time offender with no negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points, it might seem logical. However, every driver should first consult an attorney before deciding to pay the fine or challenge a ticket because traffic laws change frequently.

Currently, the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 12323.5, is the “distracted driving” legislation that went into effect in January 2017. It made cell phone use or even picking up your phone while driving, or sitting in traffic, an infraction of the CA traffic code.   

However, when you receive a cell phone ticket in your truck or another commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you must hire a traffic attorney and challenge the ticket. Whatever the traffic ticket is for, as a CDL holder, you must maintain a clean driving record if you want to get the higher-paying positions with the big truck firms. Without a cell phone ticket on your record, you could probably save yourself a lot of money, Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points and SMS percentiles, a serious offense, and perhaps your career.

How Much Is a Truck Cell Phone Ticket?

According to the FMCSA, Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet“Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.” That’s a lot of cash just because you can’t wait until you stop to gas up to check your phone or text. The FMCSA mantra is “No Call, No Text, No Ticket!”

What’s more, the FMCSA fact sheet states multiple violations could result in disqualification, though they do not say precisely how many. Though, if it follows the pattern of what the FMCSA considers “serious offenses,” a second conviction of using a cell phone while driving a CMV within three years would require a 60-day disqualification and 120 days for a third.

Why Not Buy a Hands-Free Cell phone for Your Truck? 

If you read some of the Trucking Forums, like Truckingtruth.com and Quora, many of the drivers there have no sympathy for other drivers who get caught using a cell phone while driving, got fired, and can’t find another job trucking. One commenter, a former CDL holder, said on Quora“…speaking as a truck driver there are many hands free devices out there, there is NO EXCUSE not to have one and use it.”    

However you deal with cell phone use, if you get charged with using a cell phone while driving your truck or CMV in CA, consult an attorney. If there’s no conviction or paid fine, the DMV will normally not notify the FMCSA.

Traffic Attorneys Who Practice in the Woodland, CA, Area 

When you get a cell phone ticket in the Woodland area or Yolo County, contact Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We handle traffic tickets and DMV hearing across CA. We offer a first-time free consultation to discuss your circumstances. 

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 DL 650 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC 12323.5

The FMCSA Fact SheetMobile Phone Restrictions