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The California Speed Differential for Trucks and Cars Controversy

undefinedThe CA Vehicle Code (CVC) limits the speed of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) statewide to 55 mph in Section 22406. What’s more, CVC Section 22406.1 makes it a misdemeanor crime to drive 15 or more mph over that speed limit. If you are ticketed, make no statement to law enforcement, call a CA traffic attorney.

The CMV Differential Speed Limit Is Controversial

Much of the hubbub is made by trucking fleet managers and drivers. Truckers who spend 60-70 hours a week driving are upset that the CA State Assembly doesn’t respect them and is treating them with “kid gloves.” Fleet managers are upset because it makes it much more challenging to meet deadlines.

While four-wheel drivers can drive 65 to 70 mph on the same freeway, CMVs are limited to 55 mph. This is confusing. Particularly for out-of-state CMV drivers and those hauling trailers because the speed limit is different. Most other states use the same speed limit for all vehicles.

The state assembly used the argument that larger vehicles with more axles need longer to stop. The faster they go, the more distance they need to stop before crashing into a stopped vehicle. This does make a certain amount of sense since there are so many non-professional drivers out there on the freeway who are distracted by other priorities like food, phone and other foolishness.

Many four-wheel drivers will not even think or use their blinker before cutting off an 18-wheel truck that weighs around 80,000 pounds. Then, the CMV driver will be charged with following closely and speeding. The truckers only hope of salvaging their career is to hire a CA traffic attorney to dispute the charges in Truckee, CA, Traffic Court.

How Does This Law Affect CMV Drivers in Truckee, California

Once again, the CVC restricts most CMVs like trucks, farm vehicles, tow trucks, any vehicle hauling explosives and some personal vehicles hauling trailers to a statewide maximum speed of 55 mph.

The commercial driver who gets a speeding ticket has no reasonable choice but to dispute it in traffic court because one moving violation could cost them their job. Many fleet managers will not retain a CDL holder who has a conviction for a moving violation as it raises their fleet insurance. What’s more, all convictions for moving violations lead to Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points multiplied by a time weight, which are assigned to their DOT #, and increases their Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile.

Those fleets with a percentile between 75 and 100 will get stopped at nearly every roadside inspection to ensure the vehicle is within weight standards and is “safe” according to FMCSA rules. These “interventions”further hamper the trucker’s ability to meet deadlines.

Speed Laws for CMVs

Caltrans, the CA Division of Transportation, allows local municipalities to lower that speed limit further due to steep downgrades, inclines, curves, and other road conditions. It is conceivable that the speed limit could drop from 55 mph to 35 mph on some stretches of I-80 on the Donner Pass.

The CHP and other law enforcement officers are present on I-80 to monitor compliance and issue speeding tickets to violators. When you get a ticket for violating the speed differential and driving above 55, you need a CA traffic attorney to resolve your ticket in Truckee, CA, Traffic Court.

Contact Bigger and Harman today for a consultation and to better understand your rights.

Schedule a Traffic Ticket Consultation with Bigger & Harman, APC

Call or email Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300.

We understand CMV drivers cannot take time off to attend traffic court, but they must dispute every moving violation or risk unemployment. Give us a call for a free consultation.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 22406 & 22406.1, Speed Laws