Many commercial drivers who get a citation out there on I-5 in Yolo County wonder, “Where do I go to fight a cellphone use ticket in my CMV in Woodland, CA?”
A regular driver or novice truck driver would likely ask, “Why would you fight a cellphone ticket? I saw on the internet the other day, it’s like 20 bucks or something.” Although that is somewhat true, $20 is only the “base fine,” the actual cost is about $150 with surcharges and added fees for the first ticket and close to $255 for subsequent cellphone tickets for a regular (non-commercial driver).
However, the seasoned trucker would quickly point out the difference: a bus or truck driver with a cellphone ticket in their truck or bus will cost around $2,750 from the FMCSA.
An FMCSA Serious Offense
Use of a mobile phone or hand-held device while driving in a CMV could bring about a driver disqualification, according to the DOT FMCSA Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet.
“Serious offense” consequences from a second conviction within three years of the first conviction of any state’s cellphone use restrictions while driving a CMV include a 60-day disqualification, and a third is a 120-day disqualification.
Fines from the FMCSA could be $2,750 for the driver and up to $11,000 for an employer who requires or allows their commercial drivers to use hand-held communication devices when they are driving. These convictions carry the maximum ten severity points under the Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) system.
What Is Considered Cellphone Use While Driving a CMV
Basically, the DOT FMCSA honors the individual state’s laws restricting use. That’s right, drivers are expected to know and comply with the laws governing cellphone use in each state they transport cargo or passengers through or not use their hand-held device in that state or risk a serious offense conviction.
What’s more, the device should be mounted on the dashboard within easy reach (without releasing the safety belt), by pressing only one button to begin transmitting, and further communications must be hands-free.
However, the FMCSA defines hand-held cellphone use as:
- Use of one hand to initiate a call or text;
- Dialing or attempting to dial by pressing more than one button;
- Or reaching for the device so that the safety belt no longer restrains them.
The DOT FMCSA commissioned research showed that CMV drivers dialing while driving has a six-time greater risk of a critical safety event, such as a near-crash, lane deviation, or collision. The dialing driver took their eyes off of the roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph, the driver travels approximately 300 feet or a football field’s length without looking at the road.
Fighting a Cellphone Use Ticket in Woodland, CA
When you get a cellphone use ticket in Woodland, CA, you should consult with a traffic ticket attorney. Not all tickets are winnable, but you do not have much choice when you are looking at CSA points, a “serious offense,” a possible driver disqualification, and an entry on your Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) record.
Who to Contact to Resolve a Cellphone Use Ticket in Woodland, CA
Call the traffic ticket team of Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We handle nothing but traffic law cases.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The FMCSA Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet