Many drivers, including commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) believe that they have a magical “buffer zone” for speeding. Many say, “I should not be pulled over for speeding in my truck five or six mph over the limit. Especially when those four-wheelers are flying by at 80 or 90 mph.”
However, we’ve all been there. We’ve been out there on I-5 or I-10 in Riverside County, CA, and seen trucks pulled over by the CHP while cars, pickups, and vans fly by doing 80. Come on; you know it happens.
Differential Speeds & Speeding in My Truck: What’s Under the Hood
Not only are there differential speed limits, but there are differences in penalties as well. What’s driving the train? According to the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22406, Speed Laws, all vehicles listed in this section of code are limited to 55 mph statewide.
This includes mostly commercial motor vehicles (CMV) like trucks, tractor-trailers, and combination vehicles, but also applies to a passenger vehicle or bus towing another vehicle, farm vehicles carrying passengers, or any vehicle transporting explosives. What it primarily boils down to is vehicles with three or more axles weigh more and take much longer to stop than a smaller vehicle.
Plus, the vehicle being towed, or a combination trailer could cause a jackknifing action when the brakes are applied too quickly. This is also part of the logic behind the FMCSA making “following too closely” a serious offense.
But Why the Difference in Penalties?
Speeding tickets issued to a non-commercial vehicle driver typically have four levels and different penalties for each level. For instance, a speeding ticket for 1-15 mph over the limit has a fine of around $238 and one NOTS point. Speeding 16 to 24 mph over and 25 mph up to 99 mph are still assessed one NOTS point for a conviction or paid fine, but the possible fine is about $360 and $490, respectively.
The fourth level is for 100+ mph, and those speeding tickets are rarely, if ever, issued to a CMV driver, but the fine is $900 to $2,600, and two NOTS points are assessed if convicted.
Violators convicted of a minor infraction in a CMV are assessed 50 percent more, or 1.5 NOTS points, and three NOTS points for more serious offenses. Likewise, their fines get more expensive, much faster. For example, that trucker who asked, “Why am I getting pulled over for speeding in my truck doing six mph over?” will get a fine of $285 if convicted for speeding 1-9 mph over the speed limit, and $500 for 10-14 mph over.
A speeding ticket for 15 mph over in a 55 mph zone is a misdemeanor offense and according to the FMCSA, it is a serious offense. A second serious offense in a CMV within three years will get the driver a 60-day disqualification, and a third will get the driver a 120-day disqualification if they still have a job driving truck, which is very unlikely.
By the way, a conviction for even one mph over the speed limit in a construction zone is a serious offense. Therefore, if you already have one serious offense, be incredibly careful.
So, When You Ask How Serious is a “Speeding in My Truck” Violation, the Answer Is, Very!
When a truck driver or any CDL holder gets a speeding ticket in their CMV, they should consult with a traffic attorney and challenge the ticket because they are facing dismissal from their driving position at most firms.
What’s more, it is unlikely they will get hired by another trucking firm within the three years that conviction will stay on the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) record and their CA motor vehicle driving record.
Bigger & Harman, APC Can Handle Speeding Tickets in the Riverside County, CA, Area
Bigger & Harman, APC, can handle your speeding tickets, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, railroad crossing violations, which are all serious violations according to the FMCSA, and many more traffic issues, so call (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2019-2021 DL 650 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The TruckingTruth.com forum, Doing the Speed Limit... or Not?
CVC 22406, Speed Laws