Don’t risk your CDL by simply paying a traffic ticket

Nov 22, 2017 | traffic violations for commercial driver's license holders

You trained and tested in order to receive your commercial driver’s license. After all that work, you took to the open road delivering goods in one or more geographic locations. Perhaps you are a long haul driver, and you pass through several states, including Ohio, on a regular basis.

Knowing where police sit and wait for speeders is just part of the job, but sometimes the information passed from trucker to trucker doesn’t get through in time. Of course, it’s generally not considered safe for an 18-wheeler to be speeding in the first place, but you’re human and it happens. You may not even think twice about the potential ramifications of that speeding ticket if an officer stops you, but you probably should.

The fine is the least of your concerns

The fine for the speeding ticket is more than likely less than it takes to fill the tank on your big rig, but that’s not really the point, is it? The point is that even traffic violations such as speeding can affect your CDL, and by extension, your employment status. In addition, an officer could end up issuing you a ticket for something more serious than going 10 mph over the posted limit.

An officer could cite you for reckless driving, the definition of which includes going a certain amount over the speed limit, DUI or leaving the scene of an accident, among other things. The penalties associated with each progressively more dangerous traffic violation further jeopardize your license.

Multiple tickets add up to bad news

Receiving a traffic ticket for speeding once may not be a big deal. However, if you receive multiple citations for even minor traffic violations, you could find yourself suspended from driving by either the state or your employer. In fact, you employer could even decide that multiple tickets means bad driving habits that could ultimately result in a deadly collision for which you receive the blame. Under these circumstances, your employer could decide you aren’t worth retaining as an employee.

You could also find it difficult to obtain employment using your CDL if your driving history and record show multiple infractions. You may not be aware of this, but even the traffic violations you receive in your personal vehicle count against you. For instance, if police suspect you of DUI, you must still be below the accepted threshold for CDL drivers, and a conviction, even in your personal vehicle, jeopardizes that license.

Don’t just pay the ticket

Even one ticket risks you losing your CDL. Just two tickets within three years results in the suspension of your license for at least 60 days, and it only gets worse from there. For this reason, you may want to challenge the ticket and get help doing it to increase your chances of remaining on the road.