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CDL Holders Must Challenge a Speeding Ticket

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There are several reasons a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder could get a speeding ticket. The most obvious and most common in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is a violation of the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406Speed Laws, which prohibits mostly CMVs from driving on “…a highway at a speed in excess of 55 miles per hour…”

This section of California traffic law is the maximum speed on any roadway for three-axle vehicles, and also applies to non-commercial vehicles with more than two axles or when towing another vehicle.       

Speeding by CDL Holders that Exceeds What Is “Reasonable or Prudent”

Another traffic code that surprises many out-of-state over-the-road (OTR) truckers is CVC Section 22350Speed Laws, which doesn’t particularly pertain to just CDL holders or CMVs. Anyone who exceeds what is considered “a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, etc...” could receive a speeding ticket under this section of code.

For instance, when the speed limit is 55 mph but there is a thick fog, is it safe or prudent to drive 55 mph? What is the safe or reasonable speed in an 80,000 pound vehicle with an increased stopping distance? Until an attorney convinces a traffic court judge otherwise, it is whatever speed the law enforcement officer thinks is “reasonable and prudent” for road conditions. 

It could be easy to convince a judge that your speed was prudent when the LEO determined the safe speed to be extremely low. The CDL holder who records the weather conditions on their phone or dashcam with a date and time stamp immediately after being issued a speeding ticket will make it easier for their traffic attorney to raise a reasonable doubt about what the LEO thought was “too fast for conditions.”

The driver should write down the details of the stop right after the LEO drives off so that no details are forgotten.  

CDL Speeding in a School or Construction Zone

Any speeding in a construction zone by a CDL holder is a “serious offense,” according to the FMCSA. However, the CA traffic code requires that construction zones be posted with warning signs 400 feet before entering the construction zone, and there must be workers present for it to be speeding in a construction zone. 

Also, a conviction for 15 mph or more over the mph speed limit is a serious offense. Likewise, 15 mph over the 55 mph speed limit in CA is a misdemeanor crime. The only misdemeanor speeding ticket. As most experienced CDL holders are aware, two convictions of serious offenses within three years will result in a 60-day disqualification, and a third, 120 days. 

The same is true for a school zone violation, if it is not within school hours or there are no students present, there is no school zone violation. 

What’s important to note here is that there are many reasons a speeding violation may not be a violation at all. The only one who should decide your guilt is the traffic court judge. If you pay the fine and accept your penalty, which could end your driving career without contesting what the LEO said was a violation, you could be committing career suicide. Always consult a traffic attorney.

Traffic Attorneys Who Handle CDL Holder Speeding in the Woodland, CA, Area 

Although there are several reasons the LEO could stop a CDL holder for speeding, there are likely just as many reasons for a traffic court judge to dismiss a ticket. Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We give CDL holders a FREE initial consultation to determine if it is feasible to fight your speeding ticket. It almost always is. Radar gun calibration, LEO training on radar and lidar devices, warning signs erected too close to a construction or school zone, and other technicalities could result in a dismissal. Isn’t your livelihood worth protecting? 

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 22350, & 22406Speed Laws