The world of commercial driving can be full of potential hazards, one of which is the seemingly minor but deceptively impactful infraction of an unsafe lane change.
This action, while perhaps appearing insignificant in the moment, can lead to severe consequences for commercial drivers. Although it is considered a “minor infraction” in CA, it is a “serious offense” at the DOT FMCSA.
If you are convicted a second time of a serious offense within three years of the first, you are subject to a 60-day driver disqualification by the FMCSA.
The Hazards of Making an Unsafe Lane Change
In the fast-paced environment of commercial driving, making a lane change without appropriate caution can put not only the driver but also other road users at risk.
An unsafe lane change can cause collisions, disrupt traffic, and lead to a traffic ticket for a moving violation, which could threaten your driving position. It's not just a matter of following the law—it's a question of safety for us all on the roads.
The Consequences of an Unsafe Lane Change Conviction
In CA, an unsafe lane change conviction comes with a fine of $238 and 1.5 Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points added to your driving record.
Though it may seem like a minor penalty, it's important to remember that these convictions are reported to the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (DOT FMCSA) by the CA DMV.
This report applies to all moving violation convictions for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, so it's not something to take lightly. All CDL holders with traffic violations should discuss the situation with a CA traffic attorney.
The repercussions of an unsafe lane change violation can become significantly more severe upon a second conviction.
The DOT FMCSA classifies an unsafe lane change as a "serious offense." Consequently, a second conviction of a serious offense within three years leads to a 60-day driver disqualification by the FMCSA.
For commercial drivers, this can mean a devastating interruption to their livelihood, impacting their ability to work and potentially causing long-term career implications. All convictions of moving violations are kept on the driver’s Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record for three years. Fleets are mandated by the FMCSA to consider every recruit’s PSP before hiring.
Don't Navigate the Legal Maze Alone
Your commercial driving career is too valuable to be risked by minor infractions that can lead to major repercussions.
The penalties associated with an unsafe lane change—whether monetary or in terms of potential disqualification—are not to be underestimated.
At the Bigger & Harman CA Traffic Attorney Law Firm, we understand the implications of these violations and the impact they can have on your driving record and career. We've dedicated our practice to helping drivers like you navigate the legal landscape surrounding commercial driving infractions.
“I contacted Bigger & Harman to help dismiss a couple of tickets I received in the grapevine. They did not disappoint; it was a pretty lengthy process but it's part of the plan. Thanks a lot, to Paul and the rest of the team! I will definitely keep their number stored. Class A drivers please contact them! They will either get your ticket dismissed or reduced. Thanks again :)”—Christian S., North Hills, Los Angeles, CA.
If you find yourself facing an unsafe lane change violation or any other driving infraction, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of legal professionals is ready to provide you with the guidance and representation you need to safeguard your livelihood and continue on the path of safe and responsible commercial driving. Remember, an unsafe lane change may seem minor, but with our help, you can prevent it from having major repercussions on your career.
Consult Bigger & Harman, APC, Today for a Free Consultation About an Unsafe Lane Change Allegation
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The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.
The DOT FMCSA CFR Part 383.31, Notification of Convictions for Driver Violations.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications.