While there are a number of legal services that provide relief inside and out of the courtroom to drivers for a monthly or weekly fee, according to Multi Service its Open Road Drivers Plan boasts localized service.
“At the time of the citation, the driver calls Open Road,” Tricia Waguespack, marketing manager for Multi Service, told FleetOwner. “We then look for a local lawyer throughout our network to fight that ticket for him.”
According to Waguespack, what differentiates Open Road’s plan is that other major services handle cases from a centralized location, while Open Road is designed to be more of a referral plan that finds a local lawyer to handle the case. If the driver isn’t comfortable with the lawyer Open Road provides, they can request a different one, she added.
Legal programs for CDL drivers, in general, are aimed at drivers who get a ticket and want to fight it, but cannot make it back to the state where they received the ticket. For instance, if a driver based in Virginia gets a ticket for an overweight truck in Colorado on the way to California. For a fee, legal services such as Open Road, TVC Pro-Driver, and U.S. Legal provide lawyers in these situations.
TVC Pro-Driver, which covers drivers in all 50 states and Canada, said its attorneys specialize in the areas of law that most commonly affect its clients, covering issues such as following too close, speeding, log books, weight, and equipment.
U.S. Legal’s CDL Protector service is designed to prevent drivers from career-threatening moving, non-moving or DOT violations, with more than 3,000 attorneys available throughout North America, the company said.
Waguespack said Open Road will cover any legal fees--up to $1000 per court case for moving violations, up to $1,000 per year for non-moving violations, or up to $5000 in case of accidental manslaughter--with no additional fees for any ticket received while in the truck, outside of DWI and radar infractions. The only money drivers would have to pay are fines if they are found guilty.
Open Road is marketing the service mainly to large fleets, Waguespack said. “We don’t sell at truckstops. We go through trucking companies—typically those with 100 or more drivers, and we offer it as an additional service for their drivers.”
In addition, the company provides customizable reports. At the basic level, it provides the driver name, ticket date and report of each individual charge, but can be supplemented with additional data, Waguespack said, allowing fleets to locate trends and find drivers having trouble in specific areas and assess whether or not the driver is an asset to the company.