New California Law: CDL Holders Can Attend Traffic School

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We’d like to take a second to talk about a recently enacted California law that’s sure to have an effect on trucking companies in Los Angeles and beyond. On September 13, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1888, which allows drivers with a commercial drivers license (CDL) to attend traffic school for minor violations that occurred in their personal vehicles. The new law gives CDL holders the ability to go to traffic school to keep points off their license just like every other driver. It will also avoid the accumulating points against their driving privileges for suspension purposes.

Various groups supported the law, including the California Trucking Association (CTA) and the California Teamsters Union. These groups claimed that the old law put CDL holders at a greater risk of losing their license for things that happened when the person wasn’t using the professional aspects of their license. Out of fairness, the group said that CDL holders shouldn’t be penalized for things that happened with their personal cars just because they have a CDL. It sounds like common sense when you look at it that way.

One important thing about the new law is that disclosure of the violation will still have to be made to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). CDL’s are issued by the states, but the regulations governing the programs are administered by the FMCSA. Unfortunately, insurers will also still be able to see the violation for underwriting purposes.

The law goes will go into effect on January 1, 2013. If you are a freight company in Los Angeles, this couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s hard enough to find quality drivers due to the current driver shortage without adding additional complications to the matter. The quality of the driver pool will be maintained and an unfair practice that targeted CDL holders will be eliminated. Seems like a win-win situation.

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