Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedSince the enactment of AB-47, Distracted Drivingon 1 July 2022, commercial drivers with a cell phone violation face a serious dilemma because, with a second cell phone violation, they face a driver’s disqualification for 60 days.

What’s more, a CA driver need not be using a cell phone to be cited. Merely holding the phone in your hand could result in a cell phone violation and ticket. 

It’s bad enough that a first conviction of cell phone violation would require a $150 fine in CA and severe DOT FMCSA.

“Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in driver disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.”The DOT FMCSA Fact Sheet

Likewise, the fact sheet goes on to say:

Multiple violations of the prohibition of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in a driver disqualification by FMCSA. Multiple violations of State laws prohibiting use of a mobile phone while driving a CMV is a serious traffic violation

Therefore, since the CA DMV does not assess negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points for the first violation, the first notification to the DOT FMCSA could be your second conviction of a serious offense and require a 60-day driver disqualification.    

The DOT FMCSA Considers Illegal Cell Phone Use a Serious Offense 

Under the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (DOT FMCSA) serious offense regulation, a second conviction for illegal cell phone use while driving a commercial vehicle within three years can result in disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for 60 days. A third conviction within the same time frame can result in a disqualification of 120 days.

These disqualifications can have serious consequences for commercial drivers, including losing their job and their ability to earn a living.

To avoid a second conviction for illegal cell phone use, commercial drivers should take steps to ensure that they are not distracted while driving. These preventive measures might include using a hands-free device, pulling over to make or receive calls, or simply waiting until they reach their destination to use their phone.

However, if they receive a cell phone ticket despite precautions, they should hire a traffic attorney to resolve their ticket in court to avoid the first conviction. If there is no first conviction, there can’t be a second. It is vital to understand that contesting a citation does not guarantee a dismissal. Although many technicalities could make it possible, a traffic attorney can request a reduced charge that does not reference cell phone use or any moving violation that might trigger a driver’s disqualification. Most traffic court judges do not want to crush a commercial driver with a conviction that could kill their career.

In conclusion, commercial drivers must understand the serious consequences of a second conviction for illegal cell phone use while driving. By maintaining a clean driving record and avoiding distractions while driving, commercial drivers can minimize the risk of a conviction and protect their livelihood.

In Woodland, CA, When You Get a Ticket for a Cell Phone Violation, Consult Bigger & Harman

Don’t wait for a second cell phone violation that could threaten your career and livelihood; call Bigger & Harman, the CA traffic ticket team, at (661) 349-9300. Likewise, you can use the convenient contact form or email them. 

We offer the commercial driver a free, no-obligation opportunity to discuss your traffic tickets by phone or email. We understand it is nearly impossible to come into the office, so you can contact us electronically to request a consultation.  

“As a CDL holder, any kind of ticket is exponentially more important to your driving record, career prospects, & pay potential.”—Michael H., Templeton, CA. Read more…

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.

The DOT FMCSA Cell Phone Use Fact Sheet.

The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications.

CVC Section 12323.5Driving Offenses & AB-47, Distracted driving.

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