We have represented many victims of negligent truck drivers who caused accidents. Today we explore what is required for securing, and maintaining, a license to drive a truck in Massachusetts. Why? Because often motor vehicle accidents are caused by a truck driver whose license should or will be revoked. Those are often the unsafe drivers.
Truck driver negligence can result in serious injury and wrongful death. The likely consequences of a truck collision are significantly more dangerous than a smaller vehicle.
The CDL License
In Massachusetts, to drive a truck, you need a commercial drivers license. A truck weighs 26,000 pounds, or more, according to the requirements. In addition, to transport 16 or more people or to transport hazardous materials, you need the CDL. Of course, there are various classes of CDL licenses, depending on the size of truck the licensee will be driving.
To secure such a license you need to first pass a written test. Next, you need to pass a driving test given by the Massachusetts State Police. You also need to provide a medical certificate. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation claims that we are “more stringent” than other states with respect to CDL requirements.
Many CDL holders have taken an extensive class. And many employers require that the driver pass those courses and become certified. A typical class has 120 hours of in school instruction and 80 hours of driving instruction. The classroom instruction includes extensive defensive driving instructions. Most truck drivers are so certified and, indeed, drive safely.
However, it is not clear about how rigorous the state is in seeing to it that CDL licensees are following the law on any ongoing basis. Once there is a registered offense, the CDL licensee will loose his or her right to drive for one year. After more offenses, there are more significant penalties. And criminal background checks are not required before issuing a CDL.
Taunton Collision Involved Truck Driver With Long Record
For example, in a crash in Taunton last year, the truck driver was apparently involved in a road rage incident. However, it was not his first problem with the law. The driver had a long history of driving infractions, including numerous speeding tickets, three offenses regarding causing motor vehicle collisions, and one for refusing to obey police officers with his vehicle.
Nevertheless, the truck driver was given a CDL truck license in 2008. Then, according to the driver, when another driver tried to cut him off he flashed his high beams and the other driver fired a gun at the truck, resulting in an explosion and crash. Regardless of what actually happened, this truck driver was involved in an altercation with significant property damage and potential personal injury.
Truck Accident Victims Should Seek Professional Help
If you or loved one is injured as a result of the negligence of a truck driver you should seek the advice of a lawyer with experience in truck accidents. They are often investigated more seriously and vigorously by the police and they often have insurance companies that have huge claims to defend. Those insurance companies may be very aggressive in securing witnesses and testimony. You would need someone on your side with experience and training to fight for your rights. We have handled truck accident cases and represented victims of truck driver negligence for more than 25 years. Call Neil Burns, an attorney who has the experience.