It is essential for commercial truck drivers to understand the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) point system, as it is a way to track and monitor their driving record. The CDL point system assigns points for moving violations and infractions such as speeding or reckless driving, for example, which can result in the suspension of a driver’s license if too many points are accumulated.
This article will provide an overview of what constitutes a moving violation for CDL holders in individual states, how each type of violation affects their license, and strategies for avoiding these moving violations to maintain a clean driving record.
What is a Moving Violation for CDL Holders?
Moving violations for CDL holders are actions that violate any local, state, or federal laws in relation to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The most common moving violations for CDL holders include speeding, reckless or negligent driving,, failure to obey traffic signals, improper lane changes and passing in no-passing zones, following another vehicle too closely (tailgating), improper turns, and failure to use safety belts.
In addition to these common violations, there are also less-common offenses, such as equipment violations like operating a commercial vehicle without the proper license or registration. CDL holders need to be aware of all applicable laws when driving a CMV to avoid these violations.
Consequences for Moving Violations
The consequences of a moving violation can vary depending on the law, the severity of criminal conduct, the offense, and the state in which it occurred. In some cases, a driver may be issued a citation or fined for the violation. Other penalties may include points being added to their CDL driving record and/or suspension or revocation of their license.
Points are assessed for each violation and can have serious consequences if too many violations are accumulated. Points may result in increased insurance rates, restrictions on driving privileges, or possible disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle.
Point System Explained
The CDL point system is a way of tracking the violations committed by CMV drivers on the road. Each violation is assigned a certain number of points, which are then added to the driver’s record. Depending on the severity of the violation, the number of points may range from 1 to 10. In general, more serious violations are assigned higher point values.
Every moving violation is assigned a certain number of points. The specific type and severity of the violation will determine how many points are added to your record. The points system varies by state, and will oftentimes be the same as points system for non-commercial drivers.
For instance, if you fail to obey all traffic laws or disobey a traffic signal, this infraction is generally considered a 1-3 point violation. On the other hand, more serious offenses such as reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident are considered 4-6 point violations.
How Each Type of Violation Affects Your License
As a truck driver, it is important to understand the CDL point system and how violations can affect your license. If you accumulate too many points within a certain period of time, your license may be suspended for a period of time. Additionally, if you receive multiple offenses in one day, these points can be tallied together and count as one violation.
If a driver accumulates more than 15 points within 3 years, their CDL will be suspended for at least 60 days. If the driver receives 20 or more points in a three-year period, their license will be revoked. There could also be serious violations like drunk driving that would revoke your license.
When a driver accumulates a certain total number of points in a given time period (typically three years), the driver’s CDL license is suspended or revoked. Drivers should strive to avoid all violations while they are driving CMVs. Any violation can lead to a point being added to their license.
Strategies for Avoiding CDL Moving Violations
Moving violations are one of the most common causes of accidents and costly fines among commercial truck drivers. It is important to be aware of what constitutes a moving violation and follow certain strategies to prevent them.
The first step in avoiding CDL moving violations is familiarizing yourself with the laws that govern interstate transport. This includes knowing the speed limit, what types of maneuvers are prohibited, and other rules related to safety. This knowledge can help you avoid mistakes that could lead to violations, such as a speeding ticket or parking violations.
Second, be sure to double-check your personal vehicle before departure. Make sure all necessary equipment in your motor vehicle is in working order and that everything is securely fastened down. Take the time to properly secure and balance your load.
Third, always stay alert and aware of potential hazards on the road. This includes other drivers, animals, construction zones, inclement weather conditions, etc. These can all be sources of accidents and violations.
Remain vigilant and take action to avoid potential danger by adjusting driving speed or direction as needed.
Avoid Safety Violations as a CDL Driver
Truck drivers need to understand the CDL point system to avoid serious consequences that come with accumulating too many points. To protect your license and stay safe on the roads, be sure to familiarize yourself with interstate transport laws, double-check your vehicle before departing, and remain alert of potential hazards while driving. Don’t take risks like excessive speeding that could result in a traffic ticket.
By following these strategies and avoiding moving violations, you can ensure a long career as a professional driver. Check out our recent blog to become familiar with new truck driving laws in 2023!