I'm being charged with Reckless Driving . . .

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by MCribbs, Dec 8, 2022.

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  1. MCribbs

    MCribbs Light Load Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    . . . a criminal offense. Basically, I pulled over to the side of the road. There were telephone lines running parallel/adjacent to the road. I went to do a u turn and the lines got hung up on my trailer. I didn't know I was hung up and drove forward. In that process a smaller sized telephone pole came down. I called 911. The responding officer told me that these were out of use lines that the telephone company had yet to take down. Of course, I didn't record him saying that to me, I just remember it. I'm wondering if any of you have dealt with something like this before and how it all shook out for you. Do I have any legal standing as far the lines not being up to regulation height? I gave my number to one of those CDL "we'll find you a lawyer services" and they called me right back asking for $850 and then they'll hire me a lawyer. Does anyone know if a lawyer would be able to do anything in a case like this? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. Edit. Ive attached some pictures.

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2022
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  3. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    Aug 31, 2018
    Your insurance company definitely will fight it. It’s the u turn or admitting of that probably got you the reckless part but maybe not?

    I had a driver pull down some lines going from pole to a convenience store maybe 6 yrs ago. They all wanted compensation from the power company to the stores freezer not being powered. Long story short the state requires a certain height for electric lines and it was lower then that. Bye bye claim it went.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2022
  4. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

    Apr 12, 2016
    You don't want the reckless driving on your CDL. Get a lawyer to amend the offence to a lesser one or dismiss this one entirely as the lines were too low, as you say. I would find a lawyer from the same court district where the ticket was written to.
    Don't rely on the insurance company to take care of your ticket. Fight the ticket yourself to make sure it is taken care of. Your insurance company could not care less whether the ticket stays on your record or not. They care only about not paying...
    It's been a while but a friend of mine tore telephone lines in California and the sheriff deputy who came over, he let him go saying the the owner of the house was in the wrong by allowing the lines be so low over the road...and the he was going to issue the house owner a ticket for that
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    I did something similar one time. Turned around in a church parking lot and ripped down electrical lines which also knocked out power to a bar across the street. The guy in the bar called the police. I wasn't charged or given a ticket because the lines weren't at regulation height when I ripped them down. I didn't spend any money and didn't call a lawyer. Never heard anything about it.
    Similar situation in Arizona. Ripped down electrical line to an apartment building. Police came and told me to go on and not worry about it. He said "You're not the first trucker to rip those lines down and won't be the last. The repairmen keep installing them at below regulation height." I didn't bother to even tell the company because of what the policeman told me.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2022
  6. GreenPete359

    GreenPete359 Road Train Member

    Oct 21, 2017
    Driving my recliner
    I’m no help. You made a uturn you had no business making taking wires and a pole down with you.

    when you’re in a 13’6” vehicle that’s over 60’ long, you need to pay attention to your surroundings.

    Wether the wires were in use or not has no bearing on the situation. You caused significant property damage. You deserve the citation.
    ncmickey, bryan21384, Grumppy and 5 others Thank this.
  7. TheLoadOut

    TheLoadOut Road Train Member

    Nov 6, 2019
    Did the trailer swing in the attempted u-turn hit a pole and cause the wires to bend down and snag your trailer?
  8. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

    Jan 30, 2011
    I'm not a lawyer, and sorry OP this isnt' much help to you, but your post brings to mind a related incident I experienced. So a tale of caution. Yes you need legal help to get this plead down to a parking ticket or less, if you can. Reckless driving ranks right up there with DUI to the insurance company risk table, and should be taken seriously.

    "Reckless driving" is sometimes a catch-all that's used when an out of state citation does not match up to your home state's criminal code. This came up during an insurance renewal call.

    My agent asks me "Tell me some details about a couple things so I can work the rate down." I'm thinking commodity lists, that sort of thing. ok.

    Agent: "How about this reckless driving charge from Florida on your driver?" Wait, whut? Lemme call you back.

    I call my son, the driver, and asked about it. It was a West Palm Beach police scam. Truck stop down the road from Wally World is on the southbound side of a 4 lane on the southwest corner. There's a "no left turn" sign posted behind some tree cover that cannot be seen when approaching the exit. At 0200, with zero approaching traffic in the area, he pulled out and made a left. No lines or poles came down. No landscaping was damaged, no curbs were violated. Coincidentally a WPB (or whatever village this was) officer was suddenly right there to apprehend him and issue the violation. At 2 in the morning. Just happened to be there crime fighting and keeping the village safe.

    Turns out my son had scanned and sent it to me and I paid the fine by mail. It was a municipal notice, that appeared like a parking violation and nothing like a normal traffic ticket. Also noteworthy, nothing on it indicated a commercial vehicle or driver was involved. I treated it as such.

    Turns out it was a real traffic ticket and got handled as such. When the "illegal left turn" was reported to Georgia, there wasn't a corresponding item in the code to assign, so they called it "reckless driving."

    Fortunately, my agent's diligence avoided any rate bumps from that by providing a narrative and a copy of the original citation. It persisted for 3 years total before insurance companies lost interest.
  9. Kennyworth67

    Kennyworth67 Bobtail Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Salt Lake City
    Same thing happened to me once in Michigan about 15 years ago. I missed my turn and had to go about ten miles before I see a church parking lot that looked big enough to turn around in. I'm making a very hard left out of the lot , can't see the right top of the trailer. Well, it caught some kind of wire, I had no idea and kept going. Next thing I hear is a very loud crack. Yep, snapped that telephone pole like a tooth pick. The cops came, they were cool. I took plenty of pics and sent them into Marten. I never heard another word about it. Not a phone call from safety or a blemish on my record.
    silverspur and MCribbs Thank this.
  10. BennysPennys

    BennysPennys Road Train Member

    Sep 24, 2021
    Find a local Attorney yourself in the city or county that this happened in. Just google it and start calling and you will get a local guy to help you out. So this won’t be on your record.
    ncmickey, silverspur and MCribbs Thank this.
  11. MCribbs

    MCribbs Light Load Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    I only spoke to my company's insurance broker once. My company fired me two days after this incident. These lines were not running across a road but rather parallel to a road. Thank you.
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