20 Tips CDL and New York Truck Driver Violations | Law Office of James Medows

20 Jun 20 Tips CDL and New York Truck Driver Violations

20 Tips CDL and New York Truck Driver Violations

ny-defense.com has got extensive experience assisting commercial drivers throughout New York City and New York State. With his help, this article will look to tackle the topic of CDL and New York truck driver violations through the following 20 tips.

When is a CDL needed in New York?

As articulated over at ny-defense.com, a CDL is needed in New York to operate a vehicle with a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds, a vehicle designed to transport 15 or more passengers, a bus, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.

When is a CDL not needed?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is only necessary when the above types of vehicles are used for a commercial or business purpose, and not a personal purpose. This means that, for example, a CDL is not required to drive a big U-Haul truck loaded with your personal or family member possessions for non-commercial purposes.

Other vehicles that don’t need a CDL

Other vehicles that don’t require a CDL are farmer-owned vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds used to transport agricultural products, military vehicles operated by military personnel, or emergency vehicles like fire trucks engaged in emergency operations as discussed at ny-defense.com.

CDL restrictions

Given the size of the vehicles they drive and the fact that some carry hazardous material, drivers with CDLs in New York are subject to certain restrictions, and violations of these restrictions may result in suspension or revocation of the CDL.

Out-of-state violations

Commercial drivers regularly cross state lines, which is why CDL holders should know that suspensions and revocations apply whether the violations occur out-of-state or within New York State. This means that even out-of-state violations may have serious consequences for CDL holders in New York.

Characterizations of violations in New York

From discussions on the same over at ny-defense.com, you may lose your license on either a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the type and degree of the violation. CDL violations are characterized as either serious traffic violations or major traffic violations.

Serious traffic violations

Serious traffic violations in New York result in cumulative disqualification on one’s CDL. In New York, 8 traffic violations are considered serious traffic violations, and the penalties depend on how many times you have broken the traffic law.

Types of serious traffic violations

The violations that fall under the “serious traffic violations” category as covered at ny-defense.com are:


Erratic or improper lane changes

Excessive speeding (15 mph or more over the posted speed limit)

Reckless driving, as defined by New York Law

Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a DCL

Driving a CMV without a CDL currently in your possession

Driving a CMV without the appropriate class of CDL

Violating a New York traffic law in connection with a fatal accident

Will a first-time serious violation result in a suspension?

No. A first-time serious violation does not result in disqualification. A second offense within 3 years, however, will result in a 60-day disqualification, while a third offense in 3 years will result in a 120-day disqualification.

The convictions must be from two/three separate incidents

It is important to note that the convictions must be the result of two separate incidents. If the two violations happen at the same time, the 60-day suspension will not be applied. For instance, if a CDL holder is pulled over and the officer issues a ticket for speeding and another for driving without a CDL, this single traffic stop will only be counted as one serious traffic violation.

Major traffic violations

A major traffic violation will result in the immediate disqualification of your CDL. In New York, 6 traffic violations are considered to be major traffic violations as is revealed in discussions on the same at ny-defense.com.

Types of major traffic violations

The 6 types of major traffic violations for commercial drivers in New York are:

Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance

Refusing to take a chemical test

Prematurely leaving the scene of an accident

Using the vehicle to commit a felony (including manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance)

Driving under a revoked/suspended/canceled CDL, or during a disqualification period

Negligent operation of a CMV that causes a fatality

Consequences of being convicted of a major traffic violation

For major traffic violations, there is no respite for a first-time offense. A first-time offense results in an automatic 1-year disqualification. If you were transporting hazardous materials, you will face a 3-year disqualification instead. A second violation results in a lifetime disqualification.

Can you appeal a lifetime disqualification?

As pointed out by ny-defense.com, this will depend on what your conviction was for. After 10 years, you may be eligible for reinstatement after receiving a lifetime disqualification, unless you used your vehicle to illegally manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance, in which case your lifetime disqualification will be permanent.

Railroad-highway grade crossing offenses

If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle and you violate railroad-highway grade crossing laws, disqualifications include 60 days (for the first violation), 120 days (for the second violation), and 1 year (for the third violation).

Types of railroad-highway grade crossing offenses

According to ny-defense.com, these violations include failing to:

Slow down and check for an approaching train

Stop if the tracks are not clear

Stop if required by the specific crossing

Stop if you don’t have enough space to drive completely through the crossing

Obey a traffic control device or law enforcement official’s directions

Have sufficient undercarriage clearance allowing you to cross the tracks

CDL-specific violations

Specific CDL violations may also result in penalties. These include:

Driving a vehicle that exceeds the weight limit on specified roadways

Failing to follow logbook regulations

Failing to follow lane regulations

Causing a hazmat spill

Exceeding a speed limit of 55 mph with a trailer in tow

Violating downhill grade restrictions and speed zones

These violations may result in one and a half points against you.

Overweight violations

In the state of New York, an overweight violation is issued to the driver of a truck who is operating a vehicle that weighs more than legally permitted. In general, a truck may not weigh more than 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, however, how much a truck is permitted to weigh depends on axle spacing according to ny-defense.com. Some bridges and viaducts may also have lower weight limits than roadways.

The legal weight for trucks

The legal weight for trucks with pneumatic tires is as follows:

Per inch of tire width – 800 pounds

Any one wheel – 11,200 pounds

Any one axle – 22,400 pounds

Any two axles – 36,000 pounds

3 or more axles – 80,000 pounds

Truck drivers are expected to know the weight limits of any passage along their route and ensure that their trailers are loaded accordingly.

New York law may treat an overweight offense as if you were never issued a permit at all

It is important to remember that if your truck weight exceeds the maximum weight granted to you in your permit, New York law may treat the offense as if you never were issued a permit at all. For example, if your load was 30,000 pounds and you were originally given a permit for 20,000 pounds, instead of being handed a fine of $1,200 for being 10,000 pounds over your limit, if New York opts to treat the offense as if you never received a permit (which happens more often than you might think), you will be facing a fine of $3,200.

If you receive a CDL ticket for any of the violations discussed in this article, and many others, you may be facing disqualification, which may jeopardize your income and employment. This is why you should reach out to the excellent ny-defense.com for assistance in such a situation.