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undefinedFour out of five of the most common commercial vehicle moving violations could be a DOT FMCSA “serious offense.” 

A second conviction for the same moving violation, an FMCSA serious offense within three years, could lead to a 60-day driver disqualification and a third to a 120-day disqualification.

Most fleet drivers need not worry about a third serious offense unless they happen with different fleets, as they will likely be terminated after the first. Fleet managers who fear termination if the fleet insurance gets too costly or an FMCSA intervention will sometimes fire a commercial vehicle driver after their first moving violation.   

#1 — Speeding in a Commercial Vehicle 

Speeding is the most common traffic ticket anywhere in the USA and many other countries of the world. So, it’s no surprise that it is in a commercial vehicle too. However, many four-wheel drivers believe speeding in a commercial vehicle is much more common than it is.

Although excessive speeding, 15 or more mph over the speed limit, is a “serious offense” according to the DOT FMCSA, it could also be a misdemeanor crime in CA.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406.1Other Speed Laws Paragraph (a) states, “A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle…upon a highway at a speed exceeding a posted speed limit established under this code by 15 miles per hour or more, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” 

That means you must have been going 70 or more in a 55 mph zone, which is statewide. A 50 mph speeding in a 35 mph zone like the Grapevine does not count as a misdemeanor.

#2 — Commercial Vehicle Cell Phone Ticket

The big issue with a commercial vehicle cell phone ticket is that AB-47 directs the DMV to assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point upon a second cell phone conviction. But whether it’s your first offense or your second, it is considered a serious offense for CSA purposes. The second offense within 3 years carries a 60 day suspension for your second offense. 

#3 — Following Too Closely Moving Violation

The following too closely moving violation for a commercial vehicle driver is also a serious offense. Although the fine in CA is only $237, a conviction could endanger a commercial vehicle driver’s career. The fleet manager could terminate the driver, and the black mark on their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record means every firm that considers them for employment will see they already have one serious offense, and another will mean a 60-day disqualification, so they’ll be looking again. Many smaller trucking firms will offer a much lower per-mile wage than those with a clean record. 

#4 — Unsafe Lane Change or Lane Violation

The most significant problem with either of these is an unsafe lane change is a DOT FMCSA “serious offense,” and a second conviction will lead the FMCSA to issue a 60-day driver disqualification if within three years of the first. Typically, an unsafe lane change is a moving violation under CVC Section 22107Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals and a lane violation is CVC Section 22348 Speed Laws, Paragraph (c).  While a lane violation is not, some law enforcement officers (LEOs) do not know the difference.   

#5 — Failure to Stop at a Red Light 

A conviction for a camera-enforced red light in CA is a $490 fine. A non-commercial vehicle driver can attend a traffic violator’s school (TVS)to hide this offense from their insurance company or employer. However, for a commercial vehicle driver, you are not eligible for TVS. 

Your best option is to consult a CA traffic attorney and dispute these moving violations in traffic court. 

Dispute Your Commercial Vehicle Moving Violation in Woodland, CA Traffic Court

Consult the CA traffic ticket defense team of Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300.

We offer commercial vehicle drivers a free initial consultation by phone, email, or in-person. However, we understand it is tough for you to take time off and come into the office, so email is the best approach. You give us the details of your stop, and we give you a flat rate to resolve your traffic ticket regardless of how many court appearances we must make. 

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.



The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CA AB-47Distracted driving, CVC Section 22348 (c)2240622406.1Other Speed Laws & Section 22107,Turning and Stopping and Turning.

The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications

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