Commercial drivers in New York are held to higher standards when operating any type of vehicle than other road users. Therefore, even a seemingly minor violation can have greater consequences that lead to loss of money, time and licenses. Here’s a look at how road offenses might affect your CDL in New York.
Traffic points and your license
In New York, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point system to track traffic violations. Depending on the severity of the offense, you can earn two, three, or five points on your license. If you accumulate 11 points within 18 months, your license will be suspended.
While most drivers are familiar with this point system, commercial drivers are subject to different rules. For example, a conviction for speeding in a work zone could result in four points being added to your personal driver’s license but eight points to your CDL.
The same is true for other offenses such as tailgating and cellphone use. A first offense for either of these violations will result in three points on your personal driver’s license but five points on your CDL.
Offenses that lead to automatic license suspension
A traffic violation can also lead to the suspension or revocation of your commercial driving privileges. In New York, a first offense for speeding over 55 mph or tailgating could result in a 60-day suspension of your CDL. A second offense within three years could lead to a 120-day suspension.
Offenses that will result in an automatic suspension of your CDL, regardless of the number of points you’ve accumulated, include DUI or DWI, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusal to take a chemical test.
When it comes to DUI/DWI, a first-time offense will lead to the loss of your commercial driver’s license for one year. If you have a second offense within three years, you will lose your CDL for life.
A traffic violation can have serious consequences for commercial drivers in New York. Therefore, it is essential for you to be aware of all the traffic laws and how they might affect you and your career.