Pennsylvania commercial drivers can face severe penalties for traffic violations. If you are a CDL driver, disqualifications can lead to license suspension. They could ultimately result in the loss of your job.
The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles separates traffic offenses into two categories. Each type of offense brings different consequences for those with commercial licenses.
Serious traffic offenses
Two serious traffic offenses within a three-year window can result in disqualification for 60 days. For three violations, the restriction lasts for 120 days. These offenses include:
- Reckless driving
- Erratic lane changes
- Exceeding the maximum speed limit by 15 mph or more
- Texting or using a mobile device
Many of these violations must occur within a commercial vehicle for the disqualification to apply. However, there are a few exceptions. If you speed excessively through a work or school zone or drive recklessly in a personal vehicle, you are at risk of disqualification. Additionally, if you violate the law and it results in a fatality, it is a serious traffic offense and could result in commercial disqualification.
The penalties for a major offense are much more severe. In most cases, these offenses result in disqualification regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving. If you drive while intoxicated, commit a felony or leave the scene of an accident in your own vehicle, you will incur disqualification.
Most major offenses disqualify you for a year at a minimum. Some, however, can disqualify you for a lifetime. Most notably, if you transport, distribute or dispense a controlled substance at any time, you could face a lifetime CDL ban.