What actions can lead to a suspended CDL? Are there ways for a driver with a suspended CDL to rehabilitate their license to operate a commercial motor vehicle? Convictions of DUI, driving at excessive speed, driving without the proper endorsement, logbook violations, and many other offenses can lead to the suspension of a CDL. However, suspensions are not permanent and there are avenues for CDL holders to pursue that can allow them to rehabilitate their license. Truck drivers who have significant violation history of the FMCSR and the CSA BASICs should not be on the road. For some, they may be able to be retrained. Ultimately, those drivers who have had a suspended CDL pose a significant risk to motorists as studies have shown a strong correlation between previous driving behaviors and future risks that include involvement in injury and fatality accidents.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study which was published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sampled commercial vehicle accidents from April 2001 to December 2003. This necessary study was very important to understanding the root cause of truck accident cases. The study showed that illegal drug use including marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines was a factor in approximately 3,000 crashes during this period, representing 2% of all accidents. However, over the counter drug use was a factor in an estimated 25,000 crashes, or 17% of all crashes. These drugs included cold medicines, pain relievers, and other drugs that can slow reaction time and affect judgment. Many trucking companies force drivers to work too many hours to make on-time deliveries and the drivers are pushed beyond human limits of endurance and become fatigued and exhausted.
Whether legal or illegal, use of drugs by CDL drivers can result in a license suspension of one year for a first offense, and three years for a first offense if the individual is transporting hazardous cargo. The second offense has a much more severe penalty and the truck drivers will likely never be hired again by a safety conscious motor carrier.
Less serious violations include railroad grade violations. CDL holders are required to slow, and in some cases such as those hauling hazardous cargo or driving school buses, come to a complete stop at railway tracks. In 2017, there were a total of 95 crossing collisions between trains and vehicles, including semi-trucks and buses. These caused 77 fatalities and 129 personal injuries. Kansas CDL holders who ignore railroad grade regulations can face a suspension of 60 days for a first offense, and 120 days for a second offense. A third offense within three years results in a suspension of 12 months or longer. In Kansas, three moving violations in one year can result in the suspension or loss of driving privileges.
The LTCCS also showed that 13,000 accidents, or 9% of the total, involved an illegal maneuver. These include improper lane changes, failure to signal, etc. At Brad Pistotnik Law, we see many tractor-trailer accidents where there is a lane change without warning by the truck driver. In fact, truck driver's rapidly changing lanes without warning happens all the time. Similarly, it showed following too closely was a factor in 7,000 crashes, or 5% of the total. Both of these are moving violations that can lead to suspension or revocation of a CDL in Kansas.
Following suspension of a CDL for a first offense, the CDL can often be reinstated following completion of the specified suspension period and any court mandated provisions. For a second offense, or for more serious offenses such as those involving homicide or hit and run, the suspension is often permanent and there is no possibility for reinstating the CDL.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience a large truck accident where the driver had a suspended CDL. Whether the accident occurred in Lawrence, Wichita, Garden City, Newton, Colby, Hays, Hutchinson, Emporia, Mulvane, Wamego, Russell, Ulysses, Satanta, Bird City, Ness City, Scott City, Belleville, Wellington, Arkansas City, Kingman, Pratt, Great Bend, Topeka, Grand Island, Sidney, Hastings, Kearney, Muskogee, Bartlesville, Stillwater, Grand Island, Independence, York, Sarasota, La Vista, Geneva, Glenpool, Choctaw, Falls City, Woodward, Destin, Pompano Beach, Delray Beach, Harlingen, El Paso, Casselberry, Libertyville, Lincoln, McKinney, Leavenworth, Appleby, Manhattan, Lawrence, Omaha, Tulsa, Enid, Texarkana, or elsewhere in these states. Our team works to secure the compensation our clients need to recover from an accident involving a negligent semi-truck or tractor-trailer driver or operator.
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