Over 700,000 speeding tickets are issued to commercial truck drivers every year, and many truckers wonder if a CDL speeding ticket stands to threaten their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and thus their livelihood. In other words, can getting one or more speeding tickets mean that your CDL will be revoked?
Understanding the CDL Speeding Ticket Rules
Speeding laws vary from state to state, so truck drivers are encouraged to seek legal counsel when facing speeding violations. Such counsel can help not only address the immediate speeding ticket, but also the future effects such violations might have on your CDL.
When considering how a ticket will affect your CDL, keep in mind:
- There is no better policy than driving safely, and obeying all posted speed limits at all times. This may seem impossible when you will paid only by arriving at a particular point at a certain time, but the alternative (losing your CDL) is unacceptable.
- Depending on the state in which you are issued your speeding ticket, the points associated with that ticket might cost you more than you expect. In some states, a CDL holder will face 1.5 times more points for a speeding ticket than a non-commercial drivers license holder. That may mean that just one ticket could cost you your CDL.
- In most states, CDL holders cannot request to attend traffic school in lieu of points, like other drivers do. That means that once you have a ticket, and it turns into points, you have very little recourse.
- If you have multiple speeding tickets, you are much more likely to have your CDL suspended. So, if you are issued one speeding ticket and that does not result in your license suspension, be extra careful, because future tickets are likely to cost you your license.
- Driving only 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a severe violation for CDL truckers. In some locations, even such a seemingly minor infraction can be charged as a misdemeanor.
- Speeding tickets mean more than traffic court – they directly affect your employment, and trucking companies care a lot about your speeding history. Even if you speed, have your CDL revoked, and later have it restored, the damage is done. Most trucking companies will not hire you back, and other companies will not hire you at all if you have had your CDL revoked at any point.
If you have a CDL and are issued a speeding ticket, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you to take steps to plea bargain or get the charges dismissed so your diving license is not affected and you are able to continue to do your job.