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Serious Traffic Violations May lead to Driver Suspension

In every state, there are a series of traffic laws and regulations. Many drivers complain about them and think that they are there to annoy or penalize drivers. However, these traffic laws serve an important purpose; they are there to protect us. By penalizing drivers who break the traffic laws states and governments can hopefully curtail dangerous accidents from happening. With safety in mind, it is important for truck drivers and other commercial drivers to be aware of these laws as they not only protect the safety of those around them but can also impact their own driver’s license.

What are Serious Traffic Violations?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is charged with regulating commercial drivers, and have done so throughout the years by creating and enacting a wide variety of regulations and standards for commercial drivers. One of these regulations is known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. This was enacted in an effort to maintain accountability amongst the commercial driving profession.

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  • Convicted of excessive speeding – this is defined under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement act as driving in excess of 15 miles an hour over the posted speed limit.
  • Reckless driving – Reckless driving has various definitions in each state, however, the central feature of reckless driving is the same regardless of where the driver is located. Any improper driving, or driving without due care and with the attention that a driver should have when operating a commercial vehicle may constitute reckless driving.
  • Improper or erratic lane changes – large commercial vehicles have large blind spots, therefore it is important for drivers to take the time to examine and determine if it is safe for them to change lanes. However, often drivers do not take the proper care and they can make lane changes either without signaling which may be considered improper, or alternatively they may not follow any pattern and randomly switch lanes while driving, which may constitute erratic lane changes.
  • Following a vehicle too closely – It takes a large truck a sufficient more distance to come to a complete stop than it does for a standard passenger vehicle. Therefore, if a driver is convicted of following another car too closely, it indicates that they were not taking the care and precaution that is expected of them.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a CDL – There are sound reasons why a driver is required to have a commercial drivers license before they operate a large truck. Driving a commercial vehicle or another large load bearing vehicle requires more attention, focus, and training than a standard passenger vehicle. Therefore, if a person is found to be driving a commercial vehicle before they have a commercial drivers license, then this may constitute a serious traffic violation and make it difficult for a potential driver to subsequently obtain a commercial driver’s license.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL in the driver’s possession – Most drivers know that they are required to carry their license on them when they are driving a vehicle. However, this is more serious if the driver is in a commercial vehicle or large truck. A driver is required to carry their commercial driver’s license on them when they are operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Driving a Commercial vehicle without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements – there are three different classes of licenses for commercial drivers: Class A License – Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds. Class B License – Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds. Class C License – Any single vehicle, or a combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver or contain any hazardous materials. If a driver does not have the proper commercial driver’s license to correspond to the vehicle that they are driving this may constitute a serious traffic violation.
  • Texting OR Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial vehicle – All drivers on the road should avoid using any device that might distract them from the road. Even momentary lapses in attention can result in an accident. That is why many states have begun or have enacted laws and legislation that will make it a traffic violation for a driver to text and drive or to use a handheld mobile device. The dangers or texting and driving have been well documented, and if a commercial driver is texting and driving, there is even greater potential for there to be an accident and if so it is likely to be devastating.

It is important for all drivers to be aware of the penalties for violating a serious traffic offense. If a driver is convicted of two serious traffic violations within any three-year period, then their commercial driver’s license will be disqualified for 60 days. If a driver is convicted of three or more Serious Traffic violations in a commercial vehicle within any three-year period then their commercial driver’s license can be suspended for up to 120 days. Additionally, if a commercial driver is convicted of a serious traffic violation in a private passenger vehicle and the driver has their standard passenger license suspend then a driver’s commercial driver’s license may also be suspended.

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