Avoiding common traffic violations takes understanding the best practices of safe drivers.
Many seasoned veterans behind the wheel of these behemoth vehicles know and apply these principles. However, this blog will help remind all commercial drivers about these best practices and advise them about what to do when even their best efforts go awry and get a ticket for one of these common commercial traffic violations.
Always consult a CA traffic attorney to ensure you have the best chance for a satisfactory resolution. Most drivers would consider a fine of $800 as a significant loss, and although it is, if you avoid moving violation points, it could be much cheaper than you think and less likely that you’ll be forced to drive for a fleet that pays 25 cents a mile with no benefits, so, it is a win.
As a commercial driver, it's essential to be aware of the rules and regulations of the road to avoid traffic violations that can lead to hefty fines, increased insurance rates, or even a driver’s disqualification. While it's impossible to avoid every traffic violation, there are some best practices you can follow to minimize the risk of receiving a ticket.
Avoiding Common Traffic Violations: Top 4
#1—Speeding: One of the most common traffic violations for commercial drivers is speeding. To avoid this, always drive at a safe and legal speed. Obey posted speed limits and adjust your speed for weather and traffic conditions.
#2—Illegal Cell Phone Use: Using a handheld device while driving is illegal in California, and commercial drivers are subject to stricter regulations. To avoid this violation, use a hands-free device or pullover to call or text. You may want to drive with the phone out of reach or in a holder where you will discipline yourself to leave the phone until completely stopped. Since 1 July 2021, AB-47, Distracted Driving, mandate the DMV assess commercial drivers 1.5 negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points for a second illegal cell phone use conviction or paid fine.
Once the DMV assesses the violation, they are obligated to notify the DOT FMCSA. The FMCSA will assess the appropriate Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points.
#3—Unsafe Lane Change: Changing lanes improperly or without signaling can lead to accidents and traffic violations. Always signal your intention to change lanes and check your mirrors and blind spots before making any moves.
#4—Following Too Closely: Commercial drivers are often under tight deadlines, but it's crucial to maintain a safe following distance to avoid accidents and traffic violations. The recommended safe distance is one second for every ten feet of vehicle length and one additional second for adverse weather conditions. Although it can be difficult to maintain when that Prius cuts back in too early, and of course, LEO won’t see that.
These four common traffic violations are also DOT FMCSA “serious offenses” that can lead to a 60 or 120-day driver disqualification. A second conviction of any of these violations within three years of the first conviction will result in the DOT FMCSA notifying your state of the 60-day driver’s disqualification and your inability to drive a commercial vehicle during the disqualification.
However, you should avoid the first conviction by consulting with and hiring a commercial vehicle traffic attorney. If you receive a notice of driver disqualification, discuss it with a CA commercial driver traffic attorney.
After Your Best Efforts Avoiding Common Traffic Violations
Despite your best efforts to avoid traffic violations, sometimes they happen. If you find yourself facing a traffic violation, it's crucial to consult with a CA traffic attorney. Traffic violations can result in fines, points on your license, and even driver disqualification, which can impact your livelihood as a commercial driver.
The fleet manager will likely not wait for 60 days to fill your seat, and your convictions will become part of your pre-employment screening program (PSP) record, which every prospective employer must consider before hiring you. With a serious offense conviction, it’s likely that only small, low-paying fleets will hire you for 25 cents a mile and no benefits.
A traffic attorney can review the specifics of your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. They can help you navigate the legal system and work to minimize the penalties you may face. It's essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you have the best possible outcome.
Avoiding Common Traffic Violations Could Be as Easy as Consulting a Traffic Attorney Who Practices in Woodland, CA
Avoiding common traffic violations most often depends on prevention. However, when prevention fails, call Bigger & Harman to avoid a possible conviction.
We offer a free consultation to review your case and provide guidance on the best course of action. If you don't have time to come in for a consultation, send us your ticket and a few details, and we'll provide our recommendation without charge or obligation.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications.