California Commercial Truck Driving Rules

When you’re on the road every day with heavy 18-wheelers, it’s hard not to wonder if they have to follow the same rules as the rest of us. It’s especially worrying when you see these semi-trucks veering into other lanes, driving way too fast, or otherwise breaking the law.

However, these truckers are subject to many of the same rules as other drivers, among other rules. They’re expected to take certain care because of their trucks, so you should be able to drive without fear on the road. When they follow the required laws, you shouldn’t have to worry about a dangerous driver.

Truck Driving Licenses

When someone decides to drive for a living, they’re usually expected to pass certain tests and complete certain training before they’re able to do so. You’re expected to be especially qualified for your job, so why shouldn’t they be?

That means that every truck driver you see on the road should have their Commercial Driver License, or CDL. This license means that they’re qualified to drive these massive trucks. If they don’t have this license, then they shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a semi-truck. Since a tractor trailer is so difficult to handle, especially in emergency situations, it’s vital that they’re prepared.

Staying Safe on the Highway

When they’re on the road, truck drivers are supposed to be especially aware of the people around them and the current situation. If they’re not, things can turn deadly. These 18-wheelers are several times larger than most of the cars around them, so an accident can be devastating.

As such, they’re subjected to certain restrictions that other people may not be. For example, it’s recommended that you take a break every three hours or so, but these are suggestions for the average driver, not rules. Truck drivers, however, are usually required to take breaks every four to five hours.

They’ll also be expected to be far soberer on the road. In California, drivers will need to have a BAC of less than 0.08 percent to be considered under the limit. Truck drivers, however, must stay below 0.04 percent if they want to avoid an arrest.

Need Help After a Truck Crash?

Unfortunately, these rules for commercial truck drivers can’t prevent every accident. Sadly, you might have already experienced a serious truck crash, and now you’re suffering. Worse, you believe the other driver is at fault, which can be confusing.

In these cases, you’ll need a San Diego 18-wheeler crash lawyer on your side. Because they’re on the job and have different expectations and rules, it can be tough to figure out whether they were at fault or not. Fortunately, your attorney should know the rules of the road. They’ll be able to help you determine the cause of your accident and get compensation for your accident.

Are Traffic Tickets Considered Criminal Offenses?

Traffic rules are meant to maintain order on the roads and keep the public safe. Enforcers keep a watchful eye on motorists and other road users. If any violates the rules, then they will be given a notice in the form of a traffic ticket. This could be a moving violation such as speeding or a non-moving violation such as parking in a restricted area.

The ticket looks different from state to state, but it will usually will contain the same information: the type of offense, the date and time it happened, the location of the incident, and the name of the issuing officer. So are traffic tickets considered criminal offenses?

What is a Criminal Offense?

Crime is a loaded word. People tend to have a lot of assumptions about it. The legal definition can be slightly different in various places, but it is generally considered as an unlawful act that is punishable through the state. However, not everything unlawful is automatically a criminal act. It must be so harmful that the public is put in danger because of it. Common examples are murder, theft, and rape. Another way to differentiate crimes from other unlawful acts is that it results in the restriction of liberty. In other words, it usually results in imprisonment of varying lengths.  

Severity of Traffic Violations

Most traffic tickets are given out for minor infractions. For example, someone who parked his car in a restricted area may have violated a rule and inconvenienced others, but the act did not really put anyone in harm’s way. As such, it is not considered a crime. The typical penalty would be a reasonable fine given the nature of the violation.

Not wearing a seatbelt while driving is another good example, as is having defective vehicle equipment. A motorist may also get a ticket for driving without a license, registration, or insurance. They often result in fines and license suspensions.

On the other hand, there are major traffic violations that merit greater attention and stiffer penalties. These include driving at a reckless pace that is way over the speed limit. This type of behavior is extremely dangerous. It disregards the safety of other road users and can very well lead of accidents if unpunished. It can be considered a criminal offense and could lead to jail time.

The same is true for drunk driving, if the motorist registers a BAC that is above the tolerable limit. Signs of heavy intoxication may also lead to a DUI charge, even if the blood alcohol level is below the limit.

If you are facing a traffic ticket, you can choose to pay the fine or fight it in court. Get the help of attorneys at Hersem Law for a higher chance of success.