20 Jun 20 Tips: Commercial Vehicle Violation Points
20 Tips: Commercial Vehicle Violation Points
Moving violations, as discussed at ny-defense.com, may lead to citations, fines, and points on a person’s license. For someone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), traffic citations bring more than added costs, as you could even end up losing your job. Through the following 20 tips, this article will look to discuss commercial vehicle violation points.
The point system and CDL drivers
Drivers who violate traffic laws receive points on their records as captured at ny-defense.com. Upon amassing a significant number of points from traffic violation convictions, drivers may get their licenses suspended or revoked. And some violations are worse than others.
CDL holders are treated more harshly
The exact number of points that you may be assessed varies by state, however, the points are usually around 1.5 to two times the amount of points you would get for the exact same violations if you committed it while driving your own car.
Points vary depending on the severity
According to ny-defense.com, the points that one may be assessed also varies depending on the severity of one’s offense. For example, driving a few miles over the speed limit may get you only 2 points, while something like reckless driving could get you 5 or more points.
Points add up and remain on your record for a given period
As you get points for violations, these points can add up. They will typically remain on your record for a set period – usually a year or two – and any points you get during that time will be cumulative. This means that if you got a moving violation and get 2 points and then another moving violation and get 3 points, you will then have 5 points on your license.
Points can disqualify you from getting a job
Having commercial vehicle violation points on your license can disqualify you from getting a job, depending on the policy of the company who you are trying to work for. This is one of the consequences you should be aware of as a CDL holder.
Points can lead to suspension of your CDL
Having points can also result in your having your commercial driver’s license either suspended or revoked if you acquire enough points within a given time frame as elaborated upon over at ny-defense.com.
Serious traffic violations
The number of points given increases as the seriousness of the violation does so you should be aware of the traffic violations that fall under the “serious traffic violations” category. They include:
Following too closely (tailgating)
Driving 15 mph over the speed limit
Improper lane changes
Causing a fatal accident by violating a major vehicle traffic control law
Railroad crossing violations
Failure to possess your CDL while driving a CMV
Operating a CMV without the proper endorsement
Testing or using a handheld device while operating a CMV
Will the first violation lead to a suspension?
No. As explained at ny-defense.com, your CDL will not be suspended on your first violation. However, you could face suspension of up to 60 days if you commit another offense within three years, and up to 120 days for a third offense.
License reinstatement fees
In addition to suspension, you will also incur costly license reinstatement fees when you eventually resume driving privileges, pay higher insurance rates, and in some cases, face possible jail time as a result of your violation.
Convictions must be the result of two separate incidents
It is also important to note that the convictions that lead to a suspension must be the result of two separate incidents. This means that if the two violations happen at the same time, the 60-day suspension will not be applied.
How many points to suspend a CDL?
This varies from one state to the next. in New York, CDL holders are subjected to the same point system as other drivers: 11 points within 18 months can result in a suspension of a New York license as explained at ny-defense.com.
What about drivers whose license is issued in another state?
Drivers whose license is issued in another state can have their right to drive in New York suspended should they be convicted of 11 points worth of traffic violations in 18 months, another point worth noting as a CDL holder.
You don’t need to accumulate points to have your CDL suspended
You should also note that, regardless of points, a CDL holder can have his/her commercial license (not the personal license) suspended upon conviction of two or more serious traffic violations within 3 years as already mentioned earlier and articulated at ny-defense.com.
DRA for New York CDL holders
If you receive 6 or more points on your New York State driving record in months, then just like any other driver in New York, you must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee.
How are points calculated?
When it comes to calculating your point total, there are two specific criteria to consider. First, you must be convicted of a violation before the value can be added to your total. Second, points are totaled based on the date of the actual violation. This means that you are not added based on the date of conviction, but retroactively added and linked to the violation itself.
How long do points stay on my record in New York?
As stated earlier on, points will remain on your record for a set period. According to ny-defense.com, in New York, current totals are based on an 18-month history of point accumulation. This means that points are only valid for 18 months. However, while this may sound like a short time, a lot can happen in 18 months, especially for a CDL holder who is always on the road.
The impact of commercial vehicle violations points on the driver
Higher insurance premiums
Your auto insurance company may increase its rates if you continue to accumulate points on your license. Most insurance companies will increase their premiums if you are to stay on their policy, while in some cases, they may find you to be too much of a liability and will refuse to insure you.
Loss of employment
A driver who gets his/her license suspended or revoked can’t operate a vehicle. By force of law, the driver is out of a job. Actually, as articulated at ny-defense.com, a driver could end up losing her/his job without receiving a suspension or revocation. This is because an employer may have a policy regarding moving violations, or a trucking company may have a zero-tolerance policy and dismiss a driver with only one minor traffic conviction.
Finding new employment may be a challenge
Looking for a new trucking job may also prove challenging. This is because employers may perform a background check and opt not to hire someone with any points on his/her driving record.
These are some of the challenges you may face by accumulating commercial vehicle violation points.
Fight your ticket
While the consequences of being convicted of a traffic violation are serious for a CDL holder, thankfully, you have a chance to contest a traffic ticket, a chance that you should always take. Hire an attorney and have them represent you in court as this gives you the best possible chance of getting a dismissal or a positive outcome, and avoiding points on your record.
To avoid the potential consequences of too many points on a CDL, if you do get a ticket, hiring a top-rated lawyer like ny-defense.com to help you either defend yourself or plea bargain to avoid points, is often a wise investment.