Residents of Atlantic Station near Midtown Atlanta had a memorable Monday night. A tractor-trailer cab driver led police on a 90 mile chase which started in Bibb County, Georgia and ended in Fulton County in Atlantic Station.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) the pursuit began about 90 miles south of Atlanta in Bibb County which means that the driver of the cab presumably navigated in or around 6 different counties, including Bibb, Monroe, Butts, Henry and Clayton, before settling in Fulton County in Atlantic Station.
Though we still don’t know why the truck driver fled from police, and we are yet to learn this driver’s identity, we do know that he sure to face criminal penalties. He also will likely lose his CDL–his special truck driving permit which allowed him to operate the tractor cab he was driving at the time of the pursuit.
Truck drivers must follow important safety rules
Whether its a cement mixer, mobile crane, dump truck, garbage truck, log carrier, refrigerator truck, tow truck, box truck or other medium to heavy truck, the driver of medium to heavy vehicles are subject to special laws known as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regs are laws designed to ensure and promote our safety out on the roads. These rules apply to drivers who operate large vehicles known as commercial motor vehicles weighing over a certain limit.
The State of Georgia defines a “commercial motor vehicle” as a motor vehicle designed or used to transport passengers or property under one of these three categories: (A) If the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds or such lesser rating as determined by federal regulation; (B) If the vehicle is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or (C) If the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials. OCGA 40-5-142.
Note that while some vehicles will surely meet the above-mentioned parameters, some drivers are exempt from having to get a CDL. Drivers of farm equipment, fire-engine trucks, military vehicles, and recreational vehicles used for personal use, are not expected to apply for a CDL.
Will this truck driver who drove through 5 or more counties keep his CDL?
The answer is, we don’t know. We don’t know if his license is going to be suspended, disqualified temporarily or disqualified permanently. While it is likely that he will face criminal charges for evading police for over 90 miles, and it is also probable that he will lose his CDL for at least some amount of time, the rules do give drivers the ability to regain a CDL if they meet certain requirements. In this particular case where the cab driver drove for 90 miles, we don’t know his speed, what he was transporting, or if he has ever broken the law before. Odds are he can wave his license goodbye. After all, the purpose of the CDL is for drivers to understand the power they have when they operate large heavy vehicles. If this driver cannot appreciate the risk he posed to other motorists, it’s probable he will lose his license.
To learn more about trucking laws, read up on our trucking page. And if you feel that you have a case because of something a truck driver has done out on the road, feel free to reach out to our attorneys for a free in-home consultation.