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Should I Dispute a Ticket for Speeding in a CMV in Riverside, CA

undefinedThe truth is that all drivers should challenge their speeding tickets, but a ticket for speeding in a CMV or commercial motor vehicle leaves the driver with little choice. This article will explain precisely why you should consult with a CA traffic attorney and challenge your speeding in a CMV ticket in Riverside County, CA, or anywhere.

What’s more, law enforcement officers (LEO) target truckers and charter bus drivers more frequently with more minor speeding violations than their non-commercial driving peers. Have you ever heard of one of your friends getting a speeding ticket for nine or ten mph over in their Prius?

The more prominent vehicles such as trucks and buses catch the radar and lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) signals better than the smaller four-wheel vehicle, and the DOT FMCSA starts assessing Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points at one mph over the speed limit.  

By the way, JJ Keller & Associates provides a comprehensive explanation of CSA, SMS, and other DOT FMCSA subjects on their website.

Breakdown of DOT FMCSA CSA Severity Points for Speeding in a CMV

The DOT FMCSA assigns these CSA points for speeding in a CMV:

  • For 1-5 mph speeding in a CMV the FMCSA assesses 1 CSA severity point.
  • For 6 to 10 mph speeding in a CMV the FMCSA assesses 4 CSA severity points.
  • For 11-14 mph speeding in a CMV the FMCSA assesses 7 CSA severity points.
  • For 15 or more mph over the speed limit or presumed safe speed given conditions, or any paid fine or construction zone speeding conviction, the FMCSA assesses 10 CSA severity points, the maximum for a single event. (Think “slow down, move over”). This is also a DOT FMCSA “serious offense.” 

A second serious offense conviction within the same BASICS category within three years of the first will lead to 60-day driver’s disqualification, according to the FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications.

The FMCSA, in line with its Safety Measurement System (SMS) has developed a method to measure the safety record of trucking fleets and their drivers called, Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs), these seven categories are:

  1. Safe driving.
  2. Hours of Service (HOS) compliance.
  3. Driver’s fitness, fatigue, or illness.
  4. Substance use, abuse, or test refusal.
  5. CMV maintenance.
  6. Compliance with Hazardous Material handling procedures.
  7. Collision indicators.

Therefore, the speeding in a CMV conviction or paid fine would be assessed CSA severity points added under the fleet’s DOT number for BASICS category, safe driving. A subsequent conviction within six months will be placed in the same category and assigned a time-weight of 3; six months to one year will get a time-weight assessment of 2. All CSA severity points will remain on the record for three years for the driver and two for the fleet DOT number.   

Periodically, the SMS assesses the fleet’s driving record and compiles a percentile by using CSA severity points times the time weight, multiplied by the number of vehicles and miles driven to come up with a percentile. This percentile determines whether or not the FMCSA will require further interventions for the fleet and its drivers. Insurance companies also look at these percentiles to determine fleet insurance premiums.

percentile from 1-50 means the fleet is among the safest. A percentile of 51-74 could mean more interventions, but a percentile of 75 to 100 means all the trucks and busses under that DOT Fleet number will be stopped at weigh stations and roadside inspections.  

Therefore, a high percentile could get a fleet manager fired. To preclude getting fired because of FMCSA interventions and higher fleet insurance premiums, they will try to avoid higher percentiles by terminating the driver with moving violation convictions. Sometimes, that includes drivers with a clean record after 20 years of driving but with one or two recent convictions. 

Facts About Speeding in a CMV in Riverside, CA

Although a conviction or paid fine on speeding in a CMV ticket is about $237 to $500, the fine is only the beginning of the problems the commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder can expect. 

After the paid fine, the DMV will assess 1.5 Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points, which will be added to their CA motor vehicle driving (MVR) record. The DMV will also notify the DOT FMCSA of the conviction. The FMCSA will then assess CSA severity points multiplied by time-weight. Their past driving record will have little effect on the fleet manager’s decision to terminate the driver. Terminating the driver could keep their SMS percentile and fleet insurance down. It’s all about the money.

Therefore, the driver has very little choice but to hire a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney and challenge the speeding in a CMV ticket in traffic court.   

Caught Speeding in a CMV in Riverside County, CA, Call Bigger & Harman 

When you get ticketed for speeding in your CMV in Riverside, CA, or elsewhere, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. 

We are traffic ticket defense attorneys who take pride in our reputation as the attorneys most CA CDL holders call to resolve their CMV tickets. We can also provide representation for you at a DMV NOTS Hearing to add leeway due to the increased risk for miles driven or to remove points from your CA MVR. Give us a call or email to discuss your needs.    

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf.

CVC Section 22406Other Speed Laws.

The JJ Keller articleCompliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program.

The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications