Negligent Operator Actions

The CA DMV will take action against a driver if they accrue to many points in a given period of time.  Negligent operator points are added to the driving record upon receipt of conviction notices from courts and reports of at fault collisions from law enforcement. The DMV shall consider all evidence submitted in reaching a final determination with regard to the driver’s negligent operator status. The licensee is entitled to a negligent operator hearing to challenge the DMV from taking action against a California driver and their license.      

Determining Point Count

Traffic convictions are assessed negligent operator point values ranging from 0 up to 3 points. A major conviction when operating a commercial vehicle, is given a 3-point count. An at fault collision is counted as 1 point.  Vehicle Code 12810 requires the department to assign 1 point to any conviction “involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle upon the highway.”  All 2 point convictions are mandated by the Vehicle Code

Commercial Vehicle conviction/collision points

Under Vehicle Code 12810.5(b)(2), a conviction is assessed one or two points. Under VC12810, any vehicle requiring a Class A or B license is given a point count of 1 ½ times its usual value.

Out of State Convictions and Collisions

The department assesses negligent operator points for traffic convictions and at fault collisions California drivers receive in other states.  Under 13363, a determination is made whether the same violation, if committed in California, would be assessed a negligent operator point count.  Points resulting from out-of-state convictions or collisions may form the basis for a negligent operator action.    

Negligent Operator warning letters

Point count

Time Period

Level 1

Warning Letter

2

12 months

4

24 months

6

36 months

Point count

Time Period

Level 2

Notice of intent to suspend

3

12 months

5

24 months

7

36 months

Point count

Time Period

Level 3

Probation/suspension

4

12 months

6

24 months

8

36 months

Probation/Suspension of Driving Privilege

Under VC12810.5, the driver is presumed a “prima facie” negligent operator. Prima facie evidence is evidence sufficient to establish a given fact and if not rebutted will remain sufficient.  The action is a 1 year probation which includes a 6-month suspension which runs concurrently. The action is effective 34 days from the date the order is mailed.

Violation of Negligent Operator Probation

An additional six-month suspension will be imposed, and the probation will be extended for one year from the violation of probation if the following occurs while the driving privilege is suspended if (1) the driver receives any violation while operating a motor vehicle, or (2) the driver is involved in a collision regardless of fault.  Upon a third violation of probation, a one-year revocation of the driving privilege is imposed.

Negligent Operator Hearing

The purpose of the negligent operator hearing is to consider the driver’s record, including mitigating/aggravating circumstances, decide whether the driver should be classified as a negligent operator under the point count system, and determine whether any action against his/her driving privilege is needed. The driver must be given the opportunity to produce evidence and testify in detail regarding his/her driver record. The hearing action must be supported by a preponderance of evidence.

Issues at the Negligent Operator Hearing

Patterns of violations and collisions will be compared to the driver’s proposed corrective measures and weighed in evaluating whether the driver’s plans for improvement are reasonable and credible.  Mitigating factors offered by the driver to lessen the degree of negligence includes the driver’s use of the vehicle for work, school, medical treatments, or other routine activities the driver regards as significant. Drivers “Mileage traveled” including both employment and nonemployment mileage.  In some cases, the driver may present mitigation relating to hardship including:

  • The driver is a major contributor or sole provider of his or her family income.
  • Alternative transportation is not available for significant, routine activities, such as school, medical treatments, or employment.

Possible decisions AFTER the hearing. 

Action

Defined

Sustain

Original action remains in effect.

Probation and Modified Suspension Period

Used following a hearing when the action is in effect.

Probation, Suspension and/or Restriction

Used following a hearing when a probation and suspension is modified to a probation with restriction.

Probation

Used to monitor the driver’s record and includes conditions of driving, such as obeying traffic laws and remaining free of collision responsibility.

Set Aside (Lack of Evidence)

Used when the basis for an action is not supported by the department’s evidence.

Set Aside (Non-Receipt of NOTS Order)

Used when evidence exists that a driver was unaware of a NOTS action, because the initial NOTS service order was not received.

No Action (Driver Does Not Appear)

If a driver does not appear for a hearing and presents no information to rebut or contest the prima facie record, the driver has withdrawn his or her right to a hearing.

End Action

Used to terminate a prior department action.

Vehicle Code Violations used in Negligent Operator Counts

Violation points are assigned to Vehicle Code sections involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Any violation occurring as a pedestrian or a bicyclist has no point assigned. The department may suspend and place on probation, or revoke, the driving privilege of a negligent operator.

Per Vehicle Code section 12810.5a, a Class C negligent operator has

  • 4 or more points in 12 months,
  • 6 in 24 months, or
  • 8 in 36 months.

Although a Class A or B driver without a special certificate may be allowed 2 additional points, a violation received in a commercial vehicle carries 1 1/2 times the point count normally assessed (12810.5b VC). A minor, under 18 years of age, may receive a 30-day restriction for 2 points in 12 months, or be suspended for 3 points in 12 months (12814.6 VC).

One Point Count California Vehicle Code Violations

Section

Violation

2800

Disobedience to traffic officer

2800.1

Evading peace officer

2801

Disobedience to fire official

2803, 2803a, 2803b, 2803c

Unsafe vehicle load

2815

Disregarding non-student crossing guard

2816

Youth bus/children crossing highway

2817

Disregarding funeral escort officer

2818

Crossing safety flares/cones

14603

Violation of license restrictions

21100.3

Disregarding traffic officer’s directions

21209, 21209a

Driving in bicycle lane

21367, 21367a, 21367b, 21367c

Disobedience to traffic signs/controller

21451, 21451a, 21451b

Illegal movement/green light/arrow

21452, 21452a

Illegal movement/yellow light/arrow

21453, 21453a, 21453b, 21453c

Illegal movement/red/light/arrow

21454, 21454a – d, 21455

Traffic signals

21457, 21457a, 21457b

Disobedience to flashing signals

21460a, 21460b

Double lines/one broken line

21460.5c

Use of two-way left turn lane

21461, 21461a, 21462

Disobedience to traffic control device

21650, 21650a – f

Keep right

21651, 21651a

Crossing divided highway

21652

Entering highway from service road

21654, 21654a, 21654b, 21655, 21655b

Lane use/slow moving vehicle

21655.8

High-occupancy vehicle lane/entering/exiting

21656 – 21662, 21662a, 21662b

Improper lane use

21663

Driving on sidewalk

21664

Freeway ramp/entering/exiting

21700

Load obstructing driver’s view

21701

Interfering with driver’s control of vehicle

21702, 21702a, 21702b

Driving hours limitation

21703, 21704, 21704a, 21705, 21706

Following too closely

21707

Driving in fire area

21709

Driving in safety zone

21711

Towed vehicle swerving

21712, 21712a, 21712d, 21712f, 21715, 21715a, 21715b

Unlawful riding/towing

21717

Turning across bicycle lane

21750 – 21757, 21758, 21759

Illegal passing

21800 – 21804, 21804a, 21804b

Right-of-way

21805, 21805b

Yielding right-of-way to horseback rider

21806, 21806a

Yielding right-of-way to emergency vehicle

21807

Unsafe operation of emergency vehicle

21950, 21950a, 21951, 21952

Yielding right-of-way to pedestrian

21954, 21954b

Due care for pedestrian on roadway

21960a

Prohibited use of freeway

21963

Yielding right-of-way to blind pedestrian

22100 – 22105

Turning and U-turns

22106

Unsafe starting/backing of vehicle

22107 – 22111, 22111a, 22111b, 22111c

Signaling turns and stops

22112, 22112a

School bus signaling

22348, 22348a, 22348c

Speed/use of designated lanes

22349, 22349.5

Maximum speed

22350, 22351, 22352, 22352a, 22352b

Basic/prima facie speed limit

22354, 22355

Exceeding posted/freeway speed limit

22356, 22356b

Maximum speed 70 mph

22357, 22358.4

Speed in excess of local limits

22359, 22360, 22361

Speed in excess of local limits

22362

Speed/construction zone

22363

Restricted speed/weather conditions

22364

Speed/traffic lanes

22400, 22400a, 22400b

Driving too slow

22405, 22405a

Speed/bridge/tunnel

22406, 22407

Maximum designated vehicle speed

22409, 22410

Speed/solid/metal tires

22413

Speed limit on grades

22450, 22451, 22452, 22452a, 22452b

Stop required/railroad crossing

22454

Stop for school bus

23109, 23109b, 23109d

Speed contest/aiding or abetting

23116, 23116a

Transporting person in truck load space

23127

Driving on trails and paths

23220

Drinking while driving

23222, 23222a, 23222b

Marijuana or open container/driving

23235

Ignition interlock verification

23244, 23244b

Defeating ignition interlock device

23253

Disobedience to toll highway officer

23270, 23270a

Unauthorized towing

23330, 23330c

Width/load of vehicle at crossing

23336

Disobedience to sign/vehicle crossing

24002, 24002a, 24002b

Unsafe/unlawfully equipped vehicle

24004

Operation after notice by officer

24250

Lighting equipment

24409, 24409a, 24409b

Failure to dim lights

24604

Lamps/flag for extended load

25103, 25103a, 25103b

Lamps on projecting load

26301, 26302, 26302a, 26302b, 26302c

Brakes

26303, 26304, 26304a, 26304b

Brakes/combination vehicles

26307

Forklift truck brakes

26311, 26311a, 26311b, 26311c

All wheel service brakes

26456, 26457

Brakes/stopping distance

26458, 26458a, 26458.5

Braking system/towing vehicles

26502a

Adjustment/use of air brakes

26503 – 26506, 26506a, 26507

Airbrake system

26508, 26508a – c, 26508e – k, 26508o

Emergency stopping system

26520, 26521, 26522

Vacuum brakes

27360, 27360a – c, 27360.5, 27360a – c

Child Passenger restraint

27363, 27363b

Child seat belt

27800, 27801, 27801a, 27801b

Motorcycle/passengers and equipment

29001, 29002

Fifth wheel connecting/locking device

29003a, 29003b, 29003c

Hitch and coupling device

29004, 29004a – c, 29006, 29006a

Towed vehicle coupling

29201

Pole dolly/load and length

31301, 31301a

Caldecott tunnel restrictions

31303, 31303b, 31303c, 31303e

Hazardous waste transportation

31402

Farm labor vehicle/unsafe operation

31540, 31504b

Removable containers/regulations

31614, 31614a, 3164b, 31614d – f 31614h, 31614i

Explosives transportation

32104, 32104a, 32104b, 32105, 32105a, 32105c-e

Inhalation hazard transportation

32106, 32106a – d

Inhalation hazard transportation

34102

Tank vehicle regulations

34501.2, 34501a, 34501c

Driving hours limitations

34506, 34506a – g

Driving hours, equipment, maintenance, operation

34506.3

Safety regulation violation

34509, 34509c, 34509d

Vanpool vehicle maintenance inspection

35784, 35784a, 35784b

Violation of special permit

35784.5, 35784a, 35784b

Extralegal load/weight

36400

Lift-carrier/speed

36705

Bale wagon load width during darkness

Two Point Count California Vehicle Code Violations

Section

Violation

2800.2, 2800.3

Evading peace officer/reckless driving

14601, 14601a,14601 b, 14601.1- 14601.4

Driving while suspended/revoked

14601.5

Driving, suspended/revoked for refusing test

20001, 20001a 20002, 20002a, 20002b

Hit and run/injury/property damage

21651b

Driving wrong side/divided highway

22348b

Speed over 100 MPH

23103, 23103a,23103 b

Reckless driving

23104, 23104a

Reckless driving/causing bodily injury

23109a, 23109c

Speed contest /exhibition of speed

23140, 23140a, 23140b

Minor driving with BAC of 0.05% or more

23152, 23152a-d

DUI/alcoholic beverage or drugs

23153, 23153a-d

DUI/causing bodily injury or death

31602, 31602a, 31602b, 31602c

Explosives transportation

Other Common California Code Violations Used In Negligent Operator Count

Section

Code

Violation

Points

49307 or 12059

Education

Disobedience to school safety patrol

1

191.5a, 192c1-192c4, 192.3c, 192.3d

Penal

Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence

2

192c, 192.3, 192.3a, 192.3b

Penal

Vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence

1

27176

Streets and highways

Speeding on Golden Gate Bridge

1

One Point Count Out of State Violations

Section

Violation

Section

Violation

01

Speed/too fast or over speed limit

34

Entering/exiting from thoroughfare

03

Speed/too slow or failure to turn out

40

Illegally modified vehicle

04

Passing/illegal, improper or unsafe

45

Explosives transportation

05

Following too close

51

Equipment/unsafe, illegal or defective

06

Failure to yield right-of-way

58

Driving while impaired

07

Illegal/unsafe use or change of lanes

61

Child passenger seat restraint

08

Turns/illegal or unsafe

67

Defective headlights

09

Signaling/improper or no signal

69

Following emergency vehicle unlawfully

10

Failure to obey traffic control device

70

Using vehicle for felony/aiding or abetting

11

Crossing double lines/markers/dividers

72

Erratic driving/suddenly changing speeds

12

Wrong way on one-way street

73

Fleeing scene or evading arrest by turning lights off when lights required

13

Brakes

74

Unsafe operation of a motor vehicle

14

Lights

75

Driving off road/on shoulder/on sidewalk

21

Violation of restricted license

77

No required equipment/using prohibited equipment

26

Negligent/careless/inattentive driving

86

Felony involving commercial vehicle

27

Starting or backing/illegal or unsafe

87

Felony controlled substance/commercial vehicle

28

Driving in a prohibited area

88

Speeding 15 mph plus/commercial vehicle

30

Disobedience of lawful order

91

Illegal lane change/commercial vehicle

31

Towing/improper, unsafe or illegal

92

Following too closely/commercial vehicle

32

Obstructing driver’s view or interfering

93

Fatal accident violation/commercial vehicle

33

Unlawful riding on motor vehicle

 

 

Two Point Count Out of State Violations

Section

Violation

Section

Violation

02

Speed contest/aiding or abetting

38

DUI/dangerous drugs not narcotics

15

Reckless driving

46

Manslaughter without gross negligence

16

Reckless driving/injury

47

Manslaughter with gross negligence

17

Drunk driving

81

DUI/BAC 0.04% or more/commercial vehicle

18

Drunk driving/injury

82

DUI/commercial vehicle

19

Hit and run

84

DUI/controlled substance/commercial vehicle

20

Driving while suspended or revoked

85

Hit and run/commercial vehicle

37

DUI/narcotics

89-90

Reckless driving/commercial vehicle

Code of Federal Regulations Violations

Section

Violation

Points

36423 or 36FR46

DUI/alcoholic beverage or any drug

2