Commercial Drivers and Traffic School?

Image of Commercial Drivers truck on freewayCommercial drivers holding a commercial driver’s license who are cited for a moving violation in Orange County, should be prepared to deal with some unwanted consequences. When commercial drivers get a conviction for a moving violation on a commercial license, that conviction carries one and one-half times the points that would be assessed on a non-commercial driver.

Let’s explore what ‘one and one-half times’ means. A typical speeding ticket would result in one and one-half points on the commercial drivers record. When commercial drivers are convicted for something somre serious like reckless driving, that would normally result in a two point violation, the commercial driver would be charged a whopping three points on his or her driving record. Three points is ONE point shy of being designated a Negligent Operator!

If any driver in California receives four points in one year, six points in two years, or eight points in three years, that person will be subject to the DMV’s Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS). If you receive the requisite number of points, the DMV will presumptively consider you a negligent operator, and move to suspend your license for 6-months.

EXAMPLE: A commercial driver gets a reckless driving conviction and ANY OTHER one-point violation within 12-months and can have his or her license suspended for 6-months. That could be a career killer, let alone, a huge financial blow.

Commercial Drivers Ineligible to Attend Traffic School

Commercial drivers are NOT eligible to attend traffic school –IF– at the time you received the ticket, you were driving a commercial vehicle. Commercial drivers need to challenge EVERY ticket to protect their license, their career, their employability, and their cost of insurance from skyrocketing. The only way for commercial drivers to avoid the points associated with traffic ticket violations is to fight the ticket. It is possible to challenge, and win, any ticket. For commercial drivers, it can be a very good investment fight every ticket, given the potential consequences to your driving record and all the associated career and financial fallout.

Image of Commercial truck on freeway

Traffic School Possible if Driving Personal Vehicle

As of 2013, traffic school is available to a commercial driver if you were driving a personal vehicle, have not previously attended traffic school in the past 18 months, and the violation is otherwise eligible. Successful completion of traffic school will have the effect of not resulting in the point and a half on your record. However, that is where the benefits to a commercial driver end. While a non-commercial driver will have his or her record wiped clean by traffic school, a commercial driver will see the conviction remain. My commercial drivers are not pleased about that so they choose instead to FIGHT all traffic infractions.

Essentially the only benefit of traffic school for a commercial driver is to prevent the accumulation of points against the DMV’s negligent operator program. If this is your first offense, then traffic school is probably not worth your time, and almost certainly is not worth the sacrifice of challenging the ticket. If you have a commercial driver’s license, it is hard to imagine a situation where it is not in your best interest to challenge the ticket.


Please Fill Out CASE EVALUATION or Call

Commercial drivers are encouraged to reach out for help. I am an experienced Orange County Traffic Ticket Attorney and I can defend your traffic ticket for you in court. Please use the Case Evaluation form HERE for a fast return call or email reply. I am often in court, but if you catch me in the office, I will happily take time to peak with you. Call 714-547-7500.


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