Not just anyone can drive a semi truck. Before they are allowed to drive, truck drivers are required to have special licenses called a commercial driver's license, or CDL. If someone is caught driving a semi truck without a CDL, they could face hefty fines up to $7,500 and up to 90 days in jail. Furthermore, if a trucking company allows a driver to operate a large truck without a valid CDL, they could incur a fine up to $10,000. CDLs are important because driving semi trucks requires special knowledge and sometimes traffic laws are different for trucks. Operating a semi truck without a CDL is very dangerous, and increases the risk of trucking accidents and injury. If you are involved in a truck accident, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Turin for a free consultation.
The CDL test
A driver is not required to have formal training, but must pass a special written and driving test to receive a CDL. The federal government has minimum requirements for every CDL examination, however many states choose to increase the requirements. In order to pass the test, drivers must score an 80% on a 30 question written exam, and perform some of the most regular maneuvers in the type of vehicle they intend to operate. If the driver wants to operate a double or triple semi trailer, a school bus, a tank truck, a passenger vehicle, or a truck carrying hazardous materials, he must earn an additional special endorsement.
A truck driver with a CDL is also subject to additional sanctions for violating traffic laws. If a CDL driver commits two or more serious traffic offenses (such as reckless driving, excessive speeding, or offenses that caused a fatal accident) within three years, he could have his licenses suspended for 90 days up to five years. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances carries a penalty of three year suspension. Just as the test to obtain a CDL is more difficult than a regular license test, the sanctions are greater as well.
A truck driver without a valid CDL puts the other drivers on the road at serious risk. Trucking accidents can be very serious, and if you have been injured in an accident, a truck accident lawyer knows how to hold the truck driver liable so you can recover for injuries. Call a Turin Truck Accident Attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith today at (770) 487-8999 for a free initial consultation and to discuss your case.