26 Aug OKLAHOMA CDL VIOLATIONS
An Oklahoma Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) is a special type of license that allows one to drive a commercial motor vehicle (“CMV”). There are several types of CMVs that require a driver to hold a valid CDL. Depending on the CMV, the driver may be required to obtain one (1) or more special endorsements, such as Air Brakes, Hazmat, Tankers, or Passenger Vehicles, in order to drive such a vehicle.
Examples of CMV’s include large, heavy, or placarded hazardous material vehicles. In order to obtain a CDL, one must pass a written test in addition to a road test, both of which are comprehensive and difficult to pass. As such, a CDL license holder is held to a higher standard than that of a regular license holder. Not only are the qualifications required to obtain a CDL rigorous, but a CDL holder is also closely scrutinized by law enforcement. Consequently, traffic ticket convictions can quickly jeopardize a CDL holder’s job, as well as his career.
Similar to other states, Oklahoma has a point system for certain driving offenses. CDL penalties apply to both the personal license and the CDL. A defective vehicle conviction will lead to a one (1) point penalty.
A speeding, failing to yield a right of way or failing to stop at a stop sign or traffic light will result in a two (2) point penalty. A conviction of a violation of speeding more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour will result in a three (3) point penalty. And charges such as reckless driving will result in a four (4) point penalty. Significantly, accumulating more than ten (10) points within a five (5) year period will lead to license suspension.
Further, federal law requires that a CDL holder adhere to all traffic laws and never engage in an act that endangers the property or lives of others. Consequently, federal law mandates that convictions of “serious violations” lead to a loss of CDL license privileges or suspension. Such serious violations include:
- Speeding more than 15 miles over the speed limit;
- Following another vehicle too closely;
- Erratic or unsafe lane change;
- Reckless driving;
- Traffic offense resulting in a collision, resulting in a fatality;
- Failure to have CDL in possession;
- Failure to obtain a valid CDL;
- Failure to have the proper class CDL for CMV or the proper endorsement.
Correspondingly, the first conviction of a serious violation will lead to a fine. A second conviction of a serious violation within three (3) years of another will result in license suspension. The first suspension is for a period of sixty (60) days. Upon conviction of the third offense within said three (3) year period, the suspension will be for one hundred twenty (120) days. Considering that traffic violations tend to a have a “snowball effect,” it is vital that the CDL holder does everything possible to prevent a traffic ticket conviction.
CDL Specific Violations
For the even more serious violations, a CDL license will be suspended for one (1) year or more upon the first offense of the following:
- Uses a CMV for the commission of a felony;
- Drives a CMV without a valid CDL in force;
- Knowingly leaves the scene of an accident while driving a CMV;
- If, while negligently driving, a manslaughter homicide occurs.
Moreover, a CDL license will be suspended for three (3) years or more upon the second offense of any of the listed charges. Concerning railroad crossings, CDL holders are strictly required to obey all railroad crossing signs, stop or slow down at a crossing, and must not stop on the railroad tracks. These violations can lead to license suspension.
Other CDL Violations
In addition, other common CDL violations include:
- Failure to stop at a traffic signal;
- Exceeding the legal truck weight;
- Driving a CMV that is over width or length;
- Driving without security verification (insurance);
- Failing to placard a hazardous materials sign on all sides of the CMV;
- Creating hazard by improperly loading cargo or not securing cargo properly;
- Violating current state maximums for gross vehicle weight, gross combination and/or axle weight by overloading the CMV;
- Violating record-keeping requirements of the logbook pursuant to the Commercial Motor Vehicle
Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA/1986);
- Violation of federal hours of service limits.
Significantly, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (“CMVSA”) requires the logbook recording to be current for the previous six (6) days and the day of examination at any time. The CDL holder is required to be in compliance with the hours of service limits as defined by federal law and federal regulations.
Further, Oklahoma law requires that, upon conviction of a traffic violation, the CDL license holder must notify his or her employer of said violation within thirty (30) days of the conviction. Additionally, a CDL license holder is required to notify his or her employer, as well as the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”), in the event of an out of state traffic ticket conviction.
Options: Do not just pay a CDL citation
Upon receiving a traffic ticket of any sort in Oklahoma, it is paramount to consult a traffic ticket attorney. As a commercial driver, a CDL is the key to your livelihood. The penalties and consequences of a CDL violation or traffic violation can be very serious and have long-lasting consequences, impacting your driving record and ultimately, your career.
OK Traffic Ticket Defense has had great success in defending clients in traffic-related offenses, achieving dismissals, fine reductions, and so forth. If you have received a CDL traffic ticket or any other traffic violation in Oklahoma, contact OK Traffic Ticket Defense today. Upload your ticket, message us or call us to discuss your situation at no charge.