RSF 56, CDL Prosecution, Adjudication and Data Transmission

Grants and Contracts Details


In the FY 2015 CDLPI Grant Program, FMCSA created High Priority Grants (Category No. 2) for “applications that support research, development, demonstration projects, public education, and other activities that directly relate to improving the commercial driver licensing process and increasing motor vehicle safety that are of benefit to all jurisdictions of the United States or are designed to address national safety concerns and circumstances.” FMCSA is particularly interested in projects that will augment the knowledge of judges, attorneys, administrative board members, clerks or any other court officers who prosecute, adjudicate or transmit CDL violations under federal law and regulations. Similarly, the State of Kentucky has also prioritized improving the prosecution, adjudication and transmission of CDL violations for its own CDL program. Kentucky transportation and law enforcement officials have recently underwritten research on courts’ handling of charges related to violations of federal and state laws pertaining to commercial motor vehicles. Particularly, transportation and law enforcement officials were interested to learn more about how courts’ approach credentialing, registration and weight issues. These matters are typically the responsibility of the carrier but not of the driver. Researchers have collected data from the Administrative Office of the Courts on all citations and violations enforced by Kentucky State Police (KSP) or other law enforcement agencies. This data included information about CDL charges, cases, and their final dispositions. Work performed by the research team indicated that Kentucky district courts are more likely to dismiss charges related to commercial vehicles if they pertain to federal or interjurisdictional programs (e.g. International Fuel Tax Agreement, Unified Carrier Registration) rather than state-specific laws and regulations. This research also demonstrated that conviction rates are much higher in locales that deal with these charges more frequently, such as counties with weigh stations. For the sake of equity, efficiency, and legitimacy of commercial vehicle laws and regulations relevant to CDLs (or any other FMCSA regulation), it is imperative for enforcement officers, prosecuting attorneys and judges (or otherwise empowered court officers) to receive guidance on the evidence standards and suggested approaches to enforcement and adjudication. Appropriate guidance should consist of documents that seek to make adjudication more uniform; this will ensure the correct case dispositions for CDL-related charges.
Effective start/end date7/1/166/30/19


  • KY Transportation Cabinet: $111,000.00


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