This new technology could prevent an unsafe lane change citation or collision. However, some veteran drivers may have trouble adapting to the system, and it should be up to the driver to accept or reject the conversion.
Let’s look at the some of the pros and cons.
Advantages of Cameras & Monitors:
- Reduce blind spots.
- Expands the driver’s field of view—“…three views, including wide-angle, narrow-angle, and passenger-side ‘look-down’ cameras, greatly expand the driver’s field of view and eliminate blind spots.”
- Provide a clearer picture due to high-definition (HD) cameras.
- Better aerodynamics means better fuel mileage—up to 2.5%.
- Provide HD color vision at night to enhance low-light sensitivity.
- Can track trailer end views with camera “panning,” which could reduce right-hand turn collisions.
Advantages of Mirrors:
- Drivers are “used to them.”
- Do not depend on technology.
- Adds no new expense while diesel prices are already high.
NOTE: The DOT FMCSA has approved a 5-year exemption for the MirrorEye Camera Monitor System(CMS), which allows the “complete removal of traditional mirrors.”
There are pros and cons to both. Much like the electronic logging device (ELD), which many resisted, the new technology makes things easier and there are fewer Form & Manner logbook violations. But there are technical issues that would not arise with a paper log.
Starting a paper log can be very time-consuming if the system goes down. A camera and monitor system without backup mirrors could require a change in vehicles if there is a technical glitch with CMS.
Despite using what is often called “rookie sticks,” or fender-mounted second mirrors that reduce some blind spots, the CMS could eliminate more, particularly on the right when turning. These are priceless for some rookie and even veteran, seasoned drivers. The small, convex mirrors assist in eliminating blind spots, though the reflected image in the “fish-eye” mirror is slightly distorted.
Once drivers grow accustomed to the cameras and monitors, reducing unsafe lane change tickets and collisions could be immeasurable, especially for new drivers who never had to depend on mirrors.
Once again, it should be up to the driver which system they prefer.
The DOT FMCSA “Serious Offense” for an Unsafe Lane Change
As most drivers and trucking fleet managers know, a second conviction for an unsafe lane change is a DOT FMCSA “serious offense” that leads to a 60-day driver disqualification. CDL holders cannot afford a 60-day unpaid vacation. Further, most fleet managers will not retain the driver with a serious offense.
An advantageous course of action when a driver gets their first unsafe lane change accusation is to consult a CA traffic attorney who practices traffic law in South Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County. This course of action could eliminate the first conviction, thereby avoiding a second serious offense and a driver disqualification.
For more information and details about What Is Considered an Unsafe Lane Change in California? Read our blog post.
Contact Bigger & Harman, APC, to Assist in Resolving Your Unsafe Lane Change Ticket in El Dorado County
Many drivers believe it is too expensive to hire an attorney. Consider how much a DOT FMCSA serious offense and a 60-day disqualification will cost.
We assist CDL holders with traffic tickets in Nevada, Sacramento, Placer, and Yolo Counties using a flat fee that never changes, regardless of how many court appearances we must make to resolve your ticket. What’s more, you can comfortably continue driving with confidence that your career is in good hands without ever appearing in traffic court.
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The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook Copyright 2022.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications