If You Get A Ticket In Pennsylvania
Drivers who hold a CDL in the state of Pennsylvania are required to report any traffic tickets they receive to their employer within 30 days. If you receive a ticket in any state outside of Pennsylvania, you must report it to PennDOT within 30 days. Any ticket you receive outside of Pennsylvania will be recorded in the national database, the National Driving Register. Employers and other organizations in any of the 46 participating states can access this information – therefore, it's important that you report any violations.
Violations or suspensions that are issued in other states will most likely apply in Pennsylvania as well. That's why it's important to know that even though you are required to report the violation, you should never just pay the fine – which is recorded as an automatic "guilty" plea. You do have options, and an experienced attorney can help you determine what to do, and how to keep the fewest number of points on your record possible. They can appear with you in court, regardless of the state of origin or the severity of the offense. It's an important step in maintaining your driving record and your ability to continue to work.
Commercial Driving Laws in Pennsylvania
Traffic violations committed in a commercial vehicle in Pennsylvania may result in a temporary or permanent loss of your license, depending on the severity of the violation.
The following are considered major violations. A first-time offense for a major violation will result in a one-year disqualification of your license (three years if you are transporting hazardous materials). Second offenses result in lifetime disqualification, with eligibility for reinstatement only under certain conditions after ten years.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or greater
- Refusing to take an alcohol test
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Using a vehicle to commit a felony
- Driving a CMV when, as a result of prior violations committed while operating a CMV, the driver's license is revoked, suspended, canceled, or the driver is disqualified from operating a CMV
- Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV, including but not limited to the crimes of motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle and negligent homicide.
- Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance
The following are considered serious violations. First-time offenses for serious violations do not result in disqualification. Second offenses within three years result in a 60-day disqualification, and a third serious violation within three years results in a 120-day disqualification.
- Speeding 15 miles per hour or more above the speed limit
- Driving recklessly, as defined by Pennsylvania law
- Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or without having it in your possession
- Driving a CMV with an improper class or endorsements on your CDL
- Making improper lane changes
- Following too closely
Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings (RRHGC)
Pennsylvania has specific measures in place for RRHGC violations while operating a CMV. First offenses will result in disqualification of no less than 60 days. Receiving a second violation within three years will result in disqualification of no less than 120 days. A third violation within three years will result in a disqualification of no less than one year.