As a commercial driver, you have a whole lot more pressure on you to drive safely and to avoid any driving violations, whether or not you are behind the wheel of your truck. Getting tickets while in your family sedan could also hurt your driving career, so you should do your best to avoid breaking the law and that you are careful out on the roads.
Offenses to Avoid
These are the common offenses that you want to avoid at all costs, whether you are in your truck or not. They all could cost you big time.
DUI – Obviously, you don’t want to drink and drive as there is too much at stake
Felony – Committing a felony while using a vehicle is a good way to lose your license.
Driving with A Suspended License – While it’s tough going without a job in the short term, driving with a suspension could result in losing your license permanently.
Moving Drugs – Don’t use your vehicle to transport controlled substances.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Do not leave the scene of an accident.
Improper Endorsements – Don’t drive a rig without having all the necessary endorsements.
Excessive Speeding – In a commercial vehicle, this means 15mph or over the posted speed limit.
As a commercial driver, if you are cited with one of the above violations, you’ll likely face at least one of the penalties listed below. Here’s a basic breakdown of what you can expect.
Suspension – It’s common to have your commercial license suspended for a specific period of time. This means that you won’t be able to work meaning you’ll be forced to go without pay or even to look for a different job depending on the suspension period.
Larger Insurance Premiums – Another common punishment is being stuck with higher insurance costs. You could see your premium as much as double from a serious ticket, which makes being a driver a whole lot more expensive.
Sharp Fines – As a commercial driver, you’re held to a higher standard and will receive larger fines than most casual drivers do. That means that a simple speeding ticket could cost you a small fortune, compared to the everyday driver.
Job Loss – Getting a ticket is often enough to cost you your job when you drive for a living. That’s why you need to be exceptionally careful when behind the wheel of your truck, otherwise you could be looking for a different job.
Jail Time – For a more serious offense it’s common to receive some jail time for what you did. A DUI, for instance, could land you in jail for quite some time.
Added Points – Most tickets will add points to your driving record, which could result in a suspension if you get enough of them.
Special HAZMAT Considerations
If you are a HAZMAT driver, you have even more to worry about as you travel around. That’s because you’re held to higher standards than the average commercial driver is. You’ll receive greater fines and can have your license taken away for lesser offenses.
As a commercial driver, you have to be careful when you travel. Not only could you suffer from fines or the loss of your driving privileges, you could also lose your job and your whole way of life.