Following too closely is a “serious offense” for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers according to the DOT FMCSA Regulations.
NYC Traffic Lawyer Explains Tickets for Following too Closely (VTL 1129)
A determination must be made on whether a motorist in a rear vehicle is following a lead vehicle too closely by considering whether there is sufficient space between the front and the rear car in light of the current conditions on the road at the time. Traffic conditions, vehicle speed, and road conditions are all factors that go into determining if the rear driver is following too closely or not.
Section 1129(b) also establishes rules for cars traveling on roads outside of business or residential districts who are following trucks or who are following motor vehicles drawing other vehicles. Under these circumstances, the rear driver should leave enough space that a car which is passing could enter into that space without risk.
In other words, if you’re behind a truck or a vehicle that is towing another car, you have to leave space for someone to pass. Drivers traveling in a caravan or motorcade also need to allow enough space to pass, except in cases where the drivers are in a funeral procession.
You don’t have roll over, pay the citation and be done. Over-eager traffic enforcement intermingles with errors every day. Always be ready to fight back. The odds are in your favor when you work with NY Traffic Firm.
The penalties for a driver following another motorist too closely can be very serious. A driver who receives a citation for following another motorist too closely could be found guilty of a moving violation that results in four points on his license and a $235 fine, even for a first offense.
Drivers need to know that if they get too many points on their license – more than 11 points in 18 months – their license is subject to being suspended. Getting four points would get you more than 1/3 of the way towards a suspension of your license under this rule.
Fighting these penalties is important and you can do this by trying to argue that you were not following too closely because there was actually a sufficient amount of space to be safe. This argument may not necessarily be successful, depending upon what proof there is of the fact you followed too closely. However, the fact that “too closely” is a subjective measurement does open up doors for you to defend yourself.
In some cases, however, accidents happen due to drivers following a lead vehicle too closely. When this occurs, the driver who was in the rear vehicle is typically presumed to be negligent if a civil lawsuit is filed against him.
The theory is that only a negligent driver would fail to leave sufficient space to drive safely and avoid a collision. Because the damages that could be obtained by victims of a collision could be very high, it is important to get prompt legal help for anyone who has been accused of following too closely and causing an accident.
Anyone who is cited for following too closely should talk with a lawyer about what they can do to try to keep this black mark off of a driving record.
Is it illegal to tailgate in California?
California Vehicle Code 21703 VC states:
Thus, drivers are tailgating if they are following more closely than what is reasonable and prudent. The determination of what is, or is not, reasonable and prudent depends on all the circumstances of a given case. The conditions highlighted in VC 21703 (for example, the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and conditions of the roadway) are but just a few circumstances courts consider. California courts look to several other factors to help determine whether a driver is following too closely. These include the:
What the CA Vehicle Code Says about Following Too Closely
The CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 21703, Driving, Overtaking, and Passing says, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.”
Most believe the traffic code specifies a precise distance or that it says something about how many seconds behind another vehicle you should be. However, it leaves that to the driver to determine what is “reasonable and prudent” based on their vehicle, its speed, the traffic, and the road conditions.
You’re hauling a load to the SF Bay along I-80 heading toward Sacramento close to Roseville, CA. Along comes the CHP, who also thinks the traffic code prescribes a certain distance or time following another vehicle.
They spot your commercial vehicle “tailgating” another vehicle. Without regard to how you got to be that close to another vehicle, they give you a ticket that could negatively affect your driving career if you don’t get assistance to challenge it. Arguing with LEO on the side of I-80 will not change their mind, and it is not the time for it. Consult a CA traffic attorney and follow their advice if you want to save your career.
The key to getting a dismissal or not guilty verdict is for a traffic attorney to examine the evidence or lack of evidence and the LEO’s statement, then raise the level of “reasonable doubt” of your guilt. Remember, the burden of proof lies with the State.
What CVC 21703?
Can u get a ticket for following too close to a vehicle?
When driving if you are following too closely?
What action should you take when another driver is following too closely?