Questions about California’s CDL Point System, Drivers on Insulin & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of September 2012)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on August 11, 2012.
Brought to you as a public service by Ol’ Blue, USA and 10-4.
Submit your questions to www.askthelaw.org
CALIFORNIA’S CDL POINT SYSTEM
Q: I would like to know how the California CDL point system works? Thank you – Garcia in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: In California, moving violations can result in “points” on your driving record upon conviction in a court of law. Points are assessed regardless of whether the violation occurred in a personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle. Unlike non-CDL holders, CDL holders are not able to “mask” points by attending traffic school. In California, a moving violation will add an additional one and a half points to the CDL record. When a record reaches six points in a twelve month period, the California Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend or revoke an operator’s driving privilege. Points from a violation will drop off three years after a conviction. Other states may have similar sanctions and should be checked for more information. To avoid points, practice safe driving habits and obey all rules of the road.
INSULIN-DEPENDENT CMV DRIVER
Q: I recently retired from trucking, but I am thinking about purchasing a straight truck (under 26,000 pounds). It is my understanding that no CDL is required unless it has air brakes or I am transporting hazardous materials. My wife is insulin dependent. Could she join me as a co-driver since there is no CDL requirement, or is there still a DOT physical requirement? Thanks in advance – Monty in Ohio
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Welcome to retirement and part time work! Federal law requires anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce to possess a medical certificate. Commercial Driver License (CDL) requirements contained in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR), 383 do not cover medical requirements. FMCSA utilizes the definition of CMV contained in 49 CFR, 390.5 for medical card requirements. Therefore, if you are operating a CMV with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a combination with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, you are required to possess a medical certificate as stated in 49 CFR 391.11(b)(4). You would have to operate the 26,000 GVWR straight truck in intrastate commerce to avoid medical certificate requirements, including not being required to possess specified endorsements. Additionally, there is no such animal as an “air brake” endorsement, only “air brake” restrictions, usually administered when a person fails the air brake portion of the written test or the drive test is taken with a vehicle that does not have air brakes.
RECAPPING YOUR HOURS IN LOGBOOK
Q: Several of our drivers have been cited by the DOT in spot checks for not having a recap. When asked to show our drivers the rule, the officers can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. Can you help clarify this for us? Also, will these citations go on our DAK report? Thank you in advance – Richard in Pennsylvania
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: FMCSA from time to time will remove items from DOT regulations, and when doing this, sometimes they issue an interpretation providing guidance on how to interpret the item removed. Such is the interpretation issued dealing with the recap, which is no longer required. You have Troopers/Inspectors that are working today that still remember when the recap was one of the items required to be on the Driver’s Daily Log. So, to clear up the confusion, since that requirement is no longer found in Part 395.8(d), FMCSA issued an interpretation indicating that the recap was no longer required. As for a roadside inspection showing up on a driver’s DAK Report, the data found on the DAK Report is data submitted by the driver’s employer or former employer. FMCSA does not provide or share data to DAK. FMCSA does provide roadside inspection data to a third party vendor who prepares the driver’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) which can be obtained by a driver’s future employer if the driver signs a release allowing them to obtain the information. In other words, FMCSA has nothing to do with a DAK Report.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on August 11, 2012.