Research Project

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Assessment of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Holders’ Traffic Violations, Convictions, and Suspensions


To track CDL drivers receiving violations (for major traffic offenses) from issuance to final disposition to determine whether appropriate driver disqualification has occurred.


Prior research has shown that drivers suspended for driving reasons are three times more likely to be in a crash than a person suspended for a non-driving reason, and six times more likely to be in a crash than a person who has never been suspended. Prior research also suggests that some CDL holders are not being properly disqualified for serious offenses. These drivers pose a serious safety risk and must be removed from the roadway.


The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of the disposition of violations. The study will track the issuance of violations for a serious offense (383.51) or other major traffic offenses that have been issued to a CDL driver. Violations will be tracked from issuance to prosecution, adjudication (conviction), transmittal to the applicable State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA), and finally to disqualification (suspension). The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of the process by which CDL drivers receiving disqualifying violations are  removed from the roadway.


A report identifying the disposition of CDL holders’ major traffic violations from issuance to disqualification (when applicable).



June 2018: Complete "lessons learned" analysis from previous related research
July 2018: Kick-off meeting, finalized work plan due
October 2018: Document State processes
January 2019: Begin State outreach
November 2019: Complete majority of data collection from States
December 2019: Conduct initial peer review meeting
June 2020: Draft final report with findings from data analysis due
July 2020: Conduct final peer review meeting.
September 2020: Conduct final briefing
September 2020: Final report, research brief, and public-use dataset due


FY18 Funding: $401,000

Project Manager:

For more information, contact Nicole Michel of the Research Division at (202) 366-4354 or



Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
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