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Is Traffic School Available for Commercial Drivers in California?

Posted on March 2, 2021 by leichtlawstage

If you possess a California commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL, there are some crucial changes in state traffic laws that you should be aware of. Until just last year, CDL holders who got citations (including driving their personal vehicles) risked their jobs. Fortunately, CDL holders are now able to attend traffic school under certain circumstances. 

Drivers can get their off-duty citations suppressed or even dismissed by attending and completing online traffic school. Before this change took place, employers would often punish their drivers with disciplinary probation for getting tickets. Even worse, some companies would enforce zero-tolerance policies and fire anyone who received a personal citation.

The Effects of the Law Changes

Below are the changes put in place by the Legislature’s passage of AB 1888:

  • Any points a person receives for a qualifying violation will be removed from the commercial driver’s license holder’s personal driving record once they have successfully completed traffic school.
  • The violations may still affect the CDL holder’s auto insurance rates because they will be available for viewing by insurance companies.
  • The CDL records will still show all violations.
  • Severe penalties are still in place for any drivers convicted two more times within three years following the first off-duty traffic violation.

However, it is important to note that the following circumstances disqualify you from suppressing or dismissing a personal driving violation with traffic school:

  • All driving violations involving alcohol or drugs.
  • Violations given for excessive speed (15 mph or more over the speed limit).
  • Reckless driving (e.g., hazardously changing lanes).
  • Tailgating

Negligent Operator Points

One of the most critical factors of the new legislation is that points from qualifying violations will not be added to the driver’s Negligent Operator Points upon successfully completing traffic school.  However, this is controlled by a strict set of timeline and frequency circumstances, including:

  • Four or more M class points within one year.
  • Six or more M class points within two years.
  • Eight or more M class points within three years.

CDL operators must follow all procedures after traffic school to properly handle their personal violation. This is especially important considering how complicated regulation and record-keeping rules can be. Despite these new laws, commercial drivers must still respect and follow safe, defensive driving techniques to keep them and people around them safe.

If you are a California commercial driver’s license holder with an off-duty violation, call the Law Office of David Leicht at (760)256-3104 for a free consultation today. The Law Office of David Leicht serves the California communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood.

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