A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate certain vehicles, such as buses and tractor-trailers. This type of license is subject to stricter laws and regulations than a regular driver’s license. One such area of stricter laws is in the handling of traffic tickets. A traffic ticket can have a significant impact on a CDL license and it is important for commercial drivers to understand how these laws differ from those for regular drivers.
Stricter Laws for CDL Holders
- Points System: Many states have a points system for traffic violations. Each violation is assigned a certain number of points, and if a driver accumulates a certain number of points within a certain period of time, their license may be suspended or revoked. The point system for CDL holders is often more strict than for regular drivers. For example, a speeding ticket may result in more points being assessed against a CDL holder than a regular driver.
- Serious Offenses: Certain traffic offenses are considered more serious when committed by a CDL holder. For example, a DUI conviction for a regular driver may result in the suspension of their license for a period of time. However, a DUI conviction for a CDL holder may result in the revocation of their license permanently.
- Out-of-State Violations: CDL holders are subject to the laws of the state in which they are operating, as well as the laws of the state in which they are licensed. This means that a traffic violation committed in one state can result in penalties in the state where the driver is licensed.
- Employer Notification: Many states have laws that require employers to be notified when a CDL holder receives a traffic violation. This can result in disciplinary action by the employer, including suspension or termination of employment.
- Federal Regulations: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations in place that govern the operation of commercial vehicles. These regulations can result in penalties for CDL holders who violate traffic laws, such as fines and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle.
Impact on CDL License
- Suspension or Revocation: Depending on the severity of the violation and the number of points assessed, a traffic ticket can result in the suspension or revocation of a CDL license. This can have a significant impact on a commercial driver’s ability to earn a living, as they will be unable to operate a commercial vehicle.
- Higher Insurance Rates: A traffic ticket can result in higher insurance rates for a CDL holder. This can be a significant financial burden for commercial drivers, as they may already be operating on tight budgets.
- Difficulty Finding Employment: A suspended or revoked CDL license can make it difficult for a commercial driver to find employment. Employers are often hesitant to hire drivers with a history of traffic violations, as they can be seen as a liability.
- Penalties for Out-of-State Violations: If a CDL holder receives a traffic violation in another state, they may be subject to penalties in the state where they are licensed. This can result in additional fines, points, and even suspension or revocation of the license.
A traffic ticket can have a significant impact on a CDL license. CDL holders are subject to stricter laws and regulations than regular drivers, and a traffic violation can result in penalties such as suspension or revocation of the license, higher insurance rates, and difficulty finding employment. It is important for commercial drivers to understand these laws and the potential impact of a traffic ticket on their CDL license, and to drive safely and responsibly to avoid these penalties.
At Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg, LLC, we proudly serve clients throughout the Chicagoland area, including Cook County, Lake County, and McHenry County. Contact us to learn more and get started.