In today’s world, there is so much more that exists that can distract a driver than ever before. While distractions like outside objects such as billboards and crash sites and internal distractions such as the radio and other passengers have been around for decades, the 21st century has also brought with it unique distractions that have become a very large problem over the past two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30,000 people were killed and an estimated 319,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2015.
Cell phones and other hand-held devices have been the subject of much of the conversation around distracted driving. Most states -- Illinois included -- have adopted strict laws in an attempt to curb the dangerous and deadly habit of using your cell phone while driving. When it comes to people who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the rules are even more strict and the penalties more severe.
The Illinois Vehicle Code states that a person driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is not permitted to text while they are driving. In addition, a person’s motor carrier may not require its drivers to text while they are driving. If you are caught violating this rule, you will receive 20 points on your driving record. After three violations within a 12-month period, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked.
Similarly, the Illinois Vehicle Code states that drivers are not permitted to use a hand-held cell phone while they are driving a commercial motor vehicle, nor can a motor carrier require its drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while driving. Drivers are only permitted to use a hand-held cell phone while they are driving if they must do so to communicate with law enforcement officials or emergency services. This violation is also worth 20 points.
A violation of either rule is considered to be a “serious traffic violation,” which means convictions can put your commercial driver’s license at risk. If you are convicted of two serious traffic violations within three years, you will face a two-month CDL disqualification. If you are convicted of three serious traffic violations within three years, you will face a four-month CDL disqualification.
Additionally, you can face civil penalties from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for violations. You could face a fine of up to $2,750 if you are convicted of using a hand-held cell phone while you are driving a CMV.
Commercial drivers are often on the road for days or even weeks at a time. It can become tempting to look at your cell phone or text while you are driving, but that is never a good idea -- no matter if you are a CDL holder or not. If you have been issued a ticket because you were on your cell phone, you need help from an Oak Brook, IL traffic violation attorney. There are quite a few penalties associated with using a cell phone while operating a CMV -- including the loss of your commercial driving privileges. Do not just pay your ticket -- contact our skilled team at Myers Law LLC by calling 844-984-3529 to schedule a free phone consultation.