Are dangerous truck drivers still on the road?

You may feel safer around tractor-trailers in New Jersey knowing that they require a special set of skills and a special license to operate. Because of the hazards these big rigs present, you may also expect truck drivers to demonstrate a high level of caution. According to, though, there are a number of reasons that the driver of the truck next to you could have multiple violations and suspensions on his or her license, and still be driving legally.

Driving above the posted speed limit is risky for anyone, but an 80,000-pound truck requires an extremely long stopping distance, making this behavior deadly. Even so, a speeding ticket probably will not result in a commercial driver's license suspension. A second violation could lead to a federally mandated two-month suspension if it occurs within the next three years, but then the driver gets back out on the road with you. A third ticket would result in a 120-day suspension, but the driver would most likely still be able to have his or her license reinstated.

A single ticket for a moving violation may also result in a suspension, depending on the action. For example, in addition to the serious repercussions you would face for a DUI conviction or texting while driving, a driver may have his or her CDL suspended. Even in these cases, there are generally provisions for reinstating the license.

Behaviors such as improper lane changes, tailgating or carelessness could result in citations, just as they would for you in a passenger vehicle. These typically would not cause a suspension on their own. However, there is a system that assigns points for each infraction, and a driver could accumulate these on his or her record, resulting in a suspension when they reach a certain point. Very few actions result in a permanent license suspension. This information is provided to give you an overview, but it is general in nature and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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