What to do if you’re caught speeding in a truck
It’s never nice seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror, especially if you drive for a living. Find out what do to if you’re caught speeding in a truck.
Speeding tickets are becoming increasingly common for drivers today. For example, have you heard about this St. Louis plan to bring automated traffic enforcement as part of the St. Louis Safer Streets initiative?
Being caught speeding when you are driving a commercial vehicle for work is a doubly stressful experience, as you need your licence to earn money, so it is important to handle the situation carefully.
Let’s walk through the steps you may need to take if you are issued a speeding ticket by an officer when driving a truck.
1) Pull over and remain calm
It can fill you with dread seeing lights flashing behind you, especially if you realise you have been speeding, but it is important to keep calm. Find a safe place to pull over, such as a side shoulder or rest area, indicate and pull in.
If a place isn’t immediately available, turn on your hazard lights to let the officer know you have seen them and are intending to comply when you can.
2) Be polite and cooperate with the officer
How you respond to the officer can play a role in how the situation unfolds, so be polite when they approach your truck, and calmly cooperate with any instructions. Keep your hands visible on your steering wheel and try not to make any sudden movements that may raise suspicions.
3) Make sure you understand what you are being charged with
If the officer charges you with a speeding violation, get as much information about it as possible. Ask for clarification and keep notes of the details. Also get the officer’s name, badge number, and any other information that may be helpful later if you decide to contest the ticket.
4) Accept and sign the ticket
The officer will ask you to sign the ticket. It’s important to note that this is not an admission of guilt – it’s simply acknowledging that you have accepted the citation. If you do not sign it you can face more severe consequences. If you think the ticket was not issued legally you can contest it later.
5) Get legal advice
Once you have been issued a ticket, it is a good idea to get legal advice. Look for a lawyer who is experienced in traffic offenses, particularly ones issued for commercial vehicles. They will have extensive knowledge of the specific laws governing trucking and will help you to understand your options.
6) Review your options
When deciding what action to take, you need to first check your driving record and consider the potential impact of the ticket on your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In some jurisdictions you may be offered defensive driving courses or other programs that can help reduce the consequences of a speeding ticket. Your lawyer will discuss your options with you.
7) Contest the ticket if it was issued unfairly
If you think your speeding ticket was issued unfairly, you can contest it in court. During your case you will need to present any evidence or witnesses that support your case. Your lawyer will help you to prepare this.
8) Find ways to prevent future tickets
Speeding tickets can have a negative effect on your work as a commercial driver – especially if you are often speeding. So use this as a wake up call to change the way you drive, and find ways to prevent future tickets. This might include being more attentive to speed limits and making use of cruise control.