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

undefinedThe best practices for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders to avoid the most common CDL traffic violations are to obey the speed limit, drive defensively, avoid distractions, and get plenty of rest whenever possible. 

What Are the Most Common CDL Traffic Violations in CA?

The most common CDL traffic violation while driving a commercial motor vehicle is speeding, just as it is for every other driver in the world. 

Other common CDL traffic violations include:

  • Missing or inaccurate logs
  • Hours of Service (HOS) rule violations
  • Following too close
  • Failure to wear a safety belt 
  • Illegal cell phone use
  • Improper or unsafe lane changes
  • Lane violations 

However, if convicted, most non-commercial drivers face only a fine and demerit points against their driver’s license— commercial drivers put their livelihood and career on the line every time they pull away from the curb. 

Many would say that’s overly dramatic, but even the first moving violation could be their last if the fleet they are driving for has a high Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile. 

A fleet with a percentile close to seventy-five cannot afford to surpass that percentile. When their fleet’s DOT percentile is between 50 and 74, they are already considered marginal and likely paying a higher fleet insurance premium than their counterparts. 

Depending on the trucking firm’s number of vehicles and miles driven that month, one more moving violation could put them over seventy-five and open them up to DOT FMCSA scrutiny and interventions.

All commercial vehicles using their DOT number will be pulled in for inspection according to the Inspection Selection System (ISS) standards. These added inspections can mean missing delivery deadlines and more violations. Anyone who has driven an 18-wheeler knows an inspector can find faults on even a fairly new truck.

The last thing any trucking fleet wants is an SMS percentile of 75 or higher. It can also mean a DOT FMCSA inspection of the procedures and policies. 

Therefore, a fleet manager could terminate a long-term driver with a previously clean driving record for even one moving violation if it will put them over the percentile or raise their fleet insurance premium. 

What’s more, that moving violation, if convicted, will be assessed Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points, which will become a part of the driver’s Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record for three years.

All trucking firms must consider a driver’s PSP during the recruitment process. Therefore, if the driver is terminated due to a moving violation, new firms where the driver applies for employment must consider their PSP.     

How to Prevent Traffic Violations

Like any driver, commercial drivers can avoid most traffic violations by following the rules of the road. However, unlike most of their non-commercial driving peers, an 18-wheel commercial vehicle is much more visible, and often, the law enforcement officer (LEO) who sees a commercial vehicle too close to another vehicle will automatically assume the driver is guilty of following too close.

Maybe they were, but maybe the other vehicle pulled back in too soon after passing.  

What to Do When You Receive a CA Traffic Violation: Protecting Your CDL

When a commercial vehicle driver receives a common CDL traffic violation like speeding or illegal cell phone use, they must consult a CA traffic attorney. Just because the driver got a traffic ticket doesn’t make them guilty. Paying the fine or a guilty verdict by a traffic court judge will initiate penalties whether you are guilty or innocent.

However, the best method to avoid fines and points is to consult with and hire a traffic attorney to dispute your CDL tickets.  

Consult Bigger & Harman About Your Common CDL Traffic Violations in Woodland, CA 

Choose Bigger & Harman, APC, to resolve your CDL traffic tickets in Woodland Courthouse in Yolo County. 

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and the charges brought against you. We can take your inquiries over the phone or by email. So, there’s no need to turn down a load to come into our office. 

Contact us at (661) 349-9300 or use our user-friendly contact form or email We’re here for you. 

Download our e-book, Protecting Your Commercial Driver License.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.

Share To: