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

undefinedUnsafe lane change penalties for a commercial driver can be career-threatening. The fine is only a small portion of the problem. Other concerns include CA negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points, possible DOT FMCSA penalties, a scar on your PSP, and possible termination.

CA traffic law mandates that vehicles must give the appropriate warning before changing lanes and must do so with reasonable safety. However, the law enforcement officer (LEO) is not the final authority on what is “reasonably safe.”

“No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or leftupon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signalin the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.” — CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22107, Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals.

Although CA VC 22107 doesn’t state it, you must provide notice of a lane change for 100 feet before making a move between lanes, as prescribed in CA VC Section 22108, Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals. However, there is a an exception when no other vehicle that could have been affected is around.

“Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.”

Causes & Suggestions for Prevention of Unsafe Lane Change Penalties

Fatigue significantly contributes to unsafe lane change violations, with driver exhaustion being a common cause.

Given the extended hours truckers spend on the road, drowsiness and decreased reaction times are inevitable consequences. Trucking companies are going to great lengths to combat driver fatigue effectively by enforcing the DOT FMCSA’s stringent hours of service (HOS) regulations and ensuring drivers are afforded regular breaks.

Moreover, investments in innovative technologies like driver monitoring systems can play a pivotal role in promptly identifying signs of fatigue in real time. Many driver-assist devices are on the market, and more are included with electronic logging devices (ELD) and dash cam apps. But these tools can also be offset by over scrutinizing drivers and not everyone is a fan.

Contact a CA traffic attorney to minimize the unsafe lane change penalties possibly.

Possible Defenses & Legal Maneuvers

Commercial drivers facing unsafe lane change penalties should consult a CA traffic attorney who provides a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Many technicalities and defenses exist that could lead a traffic court judge to award a no-point conviction or outright dismissal. As a commercial driver, you are responsible for delivering the cargo on time. As traffic attorneys, we are responsible for resolving your traffic ticket and protecting your driving career to the best of our ability.

Many drivers think of an unsafe lane change as a minor infraction; in CA, it is. However, if convicted, the DMV will add 1.5 NOTS points to your driving record and notify the DOT FMCSA.

At the FMCSA, they will add Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) severity points to your Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record. Any moving violation conviction can negatively affect your driving career.

Commercial drivers with clean records can negotiate for higher pay and better benefits.

Contact us today to discuss your ticket and whether you should dispute it in Woodland Courthouse.

Consult Bigger & Harman, APC, About an Unsafe Lane Change Violation in Your CMV

When you need assistance with an unsafe lane change, contact Bigger & Harman, APC, to discuss disputing the ticket in Woodland Courthouse in Yolo County, CA. As most commercial drivers know, it is often your best course of action.

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

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

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.

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