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undefinedThe speed differential for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) still exists in CA. CA has the lowest speed limit of any state west of the Rockies in the continental US (Hawaii is also 55 mph). 

The CA Vehicle Code 22406 Restricts Most CMVs to 55 MPH

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406, Speed Laws, and CVC 22406.1Other Speed Laws, govern the speed limit of commercial motor vehicles on CA highways. The former, CVC 22406, describes which commercial vehicles, including some rental or moving vehicles, are limited to the 55-mph statewide speed limit.

The CA Speed Differential in a CMV Could Hang a Misdemeanor Rap on You

CVC 22406.1 makes it a misdemeanor crime to violate the prescribed speed limit by 15 or more mph.  

That means, if you are caught and convicted of traveling 70 or more mph, you would be saddled with a criminal record, perhaps for life. 

If you get cited in Placer County coming across the Sierras on I-80, you MUST exercise the “right to remain silent” and ask a traffic attorney for advice immediately. That downhill stretch that leads into Sacramento sees an abundance of CMV drivers get out-of-lane tickets and speeding. 

Some are misdemeanor charges.

The DOT FMCSA Could Require a 60-Day Driver’s Disqualification from Your CMV 

Additionally, the DOT FMCSA considers this a “serious offense,” along with speeding in a CMV in a construction zone. “Slow down, Move Over” is not just a fancy slogan. It’s the law in most states.  

Drivers convicted of violating the speed differential by 15 or more mph a second time within three years of the first face both the misdemeanor charge in CA and the 60-day driver’s disqualification from the FMCSA. 

Most CMV drivers will never see a second violation. Fleet managers will not chance the extreme rise of their fleet insurance premium for keeping the driver on their DOT number. Plus, each conviction is assessed with ten severity points and the time-weight multiplier appropriate to the length of time between convictions.

Any conviction within the same Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASICs) that include unsafe driving (speeding, unsafe lane change, reckless driving, following too close, illegal cell phone use), which are all serious offenses, collision indicators, Hour-of-Service (HOS) violations, maintenance, alcohol & controlled substances, Hazardous material violations, and driver fitness within the first six months of another conviction will get multiplied by three, six months to a year, by two, and these points will remain on a driver’s PSP for 3 three years. 

They’ll affect the fleet’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile, which could lead to FMCSA interventions when it is above 50.  

A CMV driver that gets cited for violating the CA speed differential should be cooperative, remain quiet, and consult a CA traffic attorney.

Ask Bigger & Harman, APC, for Legal Assistance with Placer County Traffic Tickets

Call Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300 when you need assistance with a CA speed differential ticket in Placer County.

We know that CMV drivers often get a bad rap and are often ticketed for a few miles an hour over the speed limit while their four-wheeled peers fly by at 80 or 90 mph. 

We’ve handled more than 20,000 traffic tickets in courts across CA. We have the knowledge and experience you deserve to preserve your reputation and driving record.

Call or email us for a free consultation.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.



The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook Copyright 2022.

The Insurance Hub articleWhat are the trucking BASICs and why are they important?

CVC Section 22406 & 22406.1Other Speed Laws.
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