If you are a commercial driver, you know how serious getting an infraction can be. In most circumstances, it can mean either losing your job, license, or both. Because most roadside inspections happen on a random basis, commercial drivers must always be prepared and follow all laws. Even so, there are many newer drivers who do not fully understand the laws of the road for commercial drivers. Since understanding the common infractions will help you reduce the chance of violating driver violations, it is extremely important to know these laws. Here are the most common infractions to avoid as a commercial driver.
Operating Past 14 Hours on Duty
According to the FMCSA handbook regarding the hours-of-service rules, “A [property-carrying] driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.” If you violate this law, there is a hefty fine that averages out to over $7,000.
Speeding is another major issue that commercial drivers must avoid. This is because the speed at which commercial drivers travel is not a consistent speed limit. Keep in mind that speeding is especially dangerous for a commercial drivers’ career, as it can affect both your future job prospects and commercial insurance rates. In all cases, obeying all posted traffic laws, no matter how much of a rush you are in, will save your life, your job, and the lives of those around you.
Wrong Class License
Having the wrong class license is a lot more common of an infraction than most people think. To combat this, you should know what kind of CDL class is required for the load that you are shipping. Remember, it is not the job of the freight broker or the shipping company to keep track of what loads you can and cannot haul.
Falsifying logs is a critical violation that can put drivers out of service, which is why it is surprising that it is one of the top three violations to occur on the road. Under no circumstance should you ever falsify records, but if you do, just know that you are putting yourself in line for a minimum fine of $11,000, as well as putting yourself at risk of getting your license suspended.
As a commercial driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that everything you do is by the book. For that reason, knowing the common infractions to avoid as a commercial driver is certainly a start to ensuring that you exhibit the best practices of your trade. No matter what, safety and security is your number one priority.