Drivers’ Legal Plans, are They a Friend or Foe?
Call them, “Smokey’s”, “Bears” or “Five O”, but most of us have seen those pesky flashing lights in our rearview mirrors. As Professional Drivers, we are more likely to meet Law Enforcement, we are on the road constantly and therefore the odds are against us.
Instructors in Police Academies across the country, tell their recruits that they can’t look the other way when enforcing the law on the highways and dealing with Professional Drivers. Officers have a sense of control when pulling over a passenger car but the size and logistical hazards of our rigs makes them hesitant to deal with truckers.
Recruits are reminded, that size does not matter. (that’s a relief)
We all know that tickets can hurt our status with our company, increase insurance if your private, and can be a logistical nightmare if not in our home state. It is estimated that over 700,000 speeding tickets a year are given to Professional Drivers, and there’s that age old argument that tickets are all about creating revenue and not about safety. Even the safest driver has an off day.
Keeping in mind that good things can happen to bad people, there are lawyers out there offering to help you and companies that provide “Legal Insurance” and boast of a 90% success rate. This plan provides you with an attorney to fight for you or represent you in court. Basically it goes like this, you pay your membership fee, when or if you get a ticket you call the company, they find a lawyer in the area that coincides with the location of the court and the attorney appears in court either for you or with you depending on the rules of that particular court and the nature of the actual charge.
As professional Drivers, we are held to a higher standard, our CDL is not just a drivers license its our professional bible, our way of life. The rules are stricter and getting a traffic summons just seems so easy to do no matter how safe you are.
Most of these plans do not cost you more than you have already paid as a member. Though these plans state a 90% success rate, you want to ask them what they consider a success. You may be plea-bargaining to a lesser charge because we all know that no one wins when it comes to a speeding ticket. The plan cover’s your representation, you are responsible for any monetary fines assessed or court costs. Plea bargaining can be done by yourself with the prosecutor in most states, so it raises the question if you’re paying for something you can do yourself.
These plans cost around $40.00 a month, or you can purchase a quarterly or annual plan for a discount in most places. When going through orientation at your company, you may have been offered one of these plans through the company, but most are just payroll deductions, so you’re still paying for it yourself.
We all have horror stories and accolades when doing business with other companies, so we at US Road Warriors are interested in hearing what you have to say. We want you to comment and share your experience if you have used one of these plans. Are they a rip-off or a driver’s best friend?
Regardless of your choice, let’s all remember that safety is paramount and let’s be careful out there.
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