Preventing Tickets

Truck Driving can be a financially profitable career, but it is not always how much you made, but how much you keep. Some tickets will cost you financially and others tickets will end your truck driving career. Here is a list of the common tickets truck drivers get and how to avoid them:


Overweight Tickets

Truck Drivers need to weigh loads and make sure they are not overweight but also must slide trailers tandems to be legal according to each state’s bridge laws. Bridge Laws determine which hole the driver will use when sliding the trailer tandems. 

Click here to see Bridge Laws listed by state

 TRAILERS WITH DUAL AXLES: These are maximum distances allowed except Michigan which is gives maximum and minimum. Rear axle group means more than 1 trailer axle.

Ø California 40’  from kingpin to center of rear axle

Ø Florida 41’  from kingpin to center of rear axle group

Ø Illinois 42’6” from kingpin to rear axle

Ø Maine 43’ from kingpin to rear trailer axle

Ø Maryland 41’  from kingpin to center of rear tandem axles, “Title 24”

Ø Michigan 37’-41’  from kingpin to center of rear tandem axle group 

Ø Minnesota 43’  from kingpin to center of rear axle group

Ø Rhode Island 41’  from kingpin to center of rear axle group

Ø Tennessee 41’  from kingpin to center of rear axle group 

Ø Vermont 41’ from kingpin to center of rear axle group 

Ø Virginia 41’  from kingpin to center of rear axle group

Ø West Virginia 37’  from center of rear tractor axle to center of front trailer axle

Ø Wisconsin 41’  from kingpin to center of rear axle

*This is what I understand to be legal and what I use on a regular basis. I have never had a bridge law ticket in 25 years driving a truck over-the-road. Please verify with each state yourself to make sure there have not been any changes since we have obtained this information

· HAZMAT Tickets

Ø City Loops – Watch signs, some cities make to take the loop around the city

Ø Place all HAZMAT stickers at least 3” from any markings on trailer

Ø Place placards on all four sides of the trailer

Ø No Duct tape, use only clear tape

Ø Driver needs to verify that shipper did not ship non-compatible products – Big tickets for that

· Following To Close Ticket

· Reckless Driving Ticket

· Improper or Erratic Lane Changes Ticket 

· Violation of Out-Of-Service Orders

· Faulty Equipment Ticket – A good Pre-Trip could prevent this.

· Speeding TicketsThree strikes and you are out – Quick way to end career is to have 3 moving violation tickets in a year. Driving 5 mph below the speed limit will help prevent speeding tickets. Slow down entering towns because speed limits usually drop, GPS speed limits are not always accurate, California state truck speed limit: 55 mph. Fight every speeding ticket, you cannot afford to have any moving violation ticket on your record. Hire Attorney if you get a ticket to protect your CDL. Speed limits change at the sign, not when you see the sign. I got a warning for speeding up before I got to the sign increase. Speeding tickets of 15 mph over posted speed limit are considered reckless driving and two convictions in 1 year will disqualify you from driving. XXXX

· Running Red Lights Tickets – Always anticipate the light to change red. XXXX

· Failure to Stop at an Open DOT Weigh Station. I learned the hard way from experience when I got an $80 ticket for bypassing a California DOT Weigh Station.  Moving Violation  XXXX

· Logbook Tickets:

Ø Falsification Tickets – Entering false information including incorrect duty status can lead to criminal prosecution. 

Ø Driving over allowable hours (Driving more than 11 hours without the required break, not taking a 30- minute required break within 8 hours of working/driving, driving after working 14 hours, driving after working/driving 70 hours in an 8 day period.

Ø Not approving logbook

Ø Not showing a minimum of 15 minutes for a pre-trip inspection

Ø Speeding (Logbook shows more miles than driver can legally drive)

Ø Not having required information on logbook: (Especially: Load number/BOL number and Trailer number)

Ø No Post Trip Noted.

· Restricted lane ticket – Stay out of left lane in big cities or when there are more than 2 lanes of travel in your direction, until you learn which cities and highways have left lane restrictions for trucks (it is easy to miss signs so just stay out of those lanes) 

· Parking Tickets: Never park on ramps unless it is an emergency and driving further would cause you to have an accident. (Which means you should have stopped earlier). Watch for “No Parking” and “No Truck Parking” signs. Buy “The Ultimate Truck Parking Guide” by

· Permits Missing or out of date

· IFTA Stickers missing or out of date (Need to put IFTA sticker on in January

· CDL Driver’s License not current

· Move over for emergency vehicles tickets: In most places it is the law that you must move over a lane if there is an emergency vehicle on the shoulder, but it is a good policy to use for any vehicle on the shoulder. If it is impossible to move over, then slow down to a safe speed. 

· Bypassing open DOT Scales/Weigh Stations 

EZPASS helps

· Seatbelt Tickets – Always wear your seatbelt when driving. Sometimes the cops will be watching for drivers pulling out of a lot onto the road and ticket those drivers who sometimes wait to put their seatbelt on after they get down the road. Also, if you get pulled over, wait until the officer sees that your seatbelt is on before you disconnect it. Be sure to wear the shoulder strap properly, not to loose.

· Cellphone Ticket – CDL holders must use hands free device technology when using a cellphone while driving. Pushing 1 button to make or take a call is ok.

· Texting Tickets – Texting and distractive driving is a for sure way to end your career with heavy fines for the driver and carrier. $2,750 fines to drivers and $11,000 fines to company who allow drivers to do so. 

· Distractive Driving Tickets – Includes anything that distracts you from your driving.

· DUI/DWI Tickets – Best not to drink any alcohol or consume any illegal drugs while driving or while at work.

· Improperly Using a Mobile Phone – The following information came directly from the FMCSA Web Site:

· Railroad Crossing Tickets: 

(Can lead to 1 year CDL disqualification)

Ø For drivers who are not required to always stop 

- Failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.

- Failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train.

Ø For drivers who are always required to stop

- Failing to stop before driving onto the crossing.

Ø For all drivers 

- Failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.

- Failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.

- Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

Leaving the scene of an accident while operation a CMV

Ø The following offenses will also lead to CDL/CLP disqualification:

Ø Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in

Ø disqualification for a minimum of 12 months.

Ø Committing a felony while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for a minimum of 12 months.

Ø A conviction for either offense above while carrying placarded hazardous materials results in disqualification for

Ø a minimum of three years.

Ø The use of a CMV or non-CMV in the commission of any felony involving manufacturing, distributing or dispensing

Ø a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or disperse a controlled substance

Ø results in a lifetime disqualification.

Ø Any driver providing fraudulent documentation for the issuance of a CLP or a CDL will lead to disqualification.

Ø 1.5.3 — Serious Traffic Violations

Ø Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period will result in a 60-day disqualification. Three serious traffic violations

Ø in the same period will result in a 120-day disqualification. These include the following.

Ø Excessive Speeding. Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of 15 mph or more above the

Ø posted speed limit.

Ø Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Ø Driving too fast for conditions.

Ø Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.

Ø Reckless Driving. Operating a CMV or non-CMV in a manner that exhibits a willful, wanton or reckless disregard of

Ø the safety of persons or property.

Ø Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Ø Driving on a sidewalk.

Ø Passing a school bus receiving or discharging passengers or displaying a warning not to pass.

Ø No Valid CDL. Operating a CMV without a valid CDL.

Ø Operating a CMV with an improper classification or restriction.

Ø Violation of a learner’s permit.

Ø 10

Ø Following Too Closely. Following the vehicle ahead too closely.

Ø Failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle.

Ø Improper Lane Usage. Improper or erratic traffic lane changes.

Ø Improper lane changing, lane usage and/or center lane usage.

Ø Improper passing.

Ø Passing on a hill or curve or when prohibited.

Ø Passing on wrong side of the road.

Ø Improper passing on shoulder, left or right.

Ø Driving wrong way on a one-way street or highway.

Ø Driving on the left side of the roadway.

Ø Passing in a school zone.

Ø Conviction Involving a Fatal Accident. A violation of any state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic

Ø control (other than parking violations) arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident will result in a minimum 12-

Ø month disqualification.

Ø Multiple Licenses. A violation relating to a CMV driver having multiple driver’s licenses.

Ø Cellphone and Communication Device Use. A violation relating to a CMV driver texting or using a hand-held cellphone

Ø while driving a CMV.

New Mobile Phone Restriction Rule For CMV Drivers

Overview and Background

A new FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking restricts a CMV driver from holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity.

What is the definition of using a mobile telephone?

The use of a hand-held mobile telephone means:

· Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;

· Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or

· Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

What does this rule mean to drivers and carriers?

· Fines and Penalties - Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in driver disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.

· Disqualification - Multiple violations of the prohibition of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in a driver disqualification by FMCSA. Multiple violations of State laws prohibiting use of a mobile phone while driving a CMV is a serious traffic violation that could result in a disqualification by a State of drivers required to have a Commercial Driver’s License.

· What are the risks? - Using a hand-held mobile phone is risky because it requires the driver to reach for and dial the phone to make a call. Reaching for a phone out of the driver’s immediate area is risky as well as dialing because these actions take the driver’s eyes off the roadway.

· The rule applies to drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle on a roadway, including moving forward or temporarily stationary because of traffic, traffic control devices, or other momentary delays.

· A mounted phone is acceptable as long as it is mounted close to the driver.

· Impact on Safety Measurement System (SMS) Results - Violations negatively impact SMS results, and they carry the maximum severity weight.


Make sure the mobile telephone is within close enough proximity that it is operable while the driver is restrained by properly installed and adjusted seat belts.

· Use an earpiece or the speaker phone function.

· Use voice-activated dialing.

· Use the hands-free feature. To comply, a driver must have his or her mobile telephone located where he or she is able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button. The driver must be in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt. Drivers are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for a mobile phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free function.