Following the traffic rules is the responsibility of every individual, but an occasional hiccup, such as a speeding ticket, might not hurt if it is your personal car. You just pay for it and move on. However, things can get scary, and you may have so many thoughts if you are pulled over in company vehicle.
The rules are the same for traffic violations, and the cops can pull you over for speeding, traffic light violations, and other moving violations in your company car. Whether you are a privileged company employee who drives a company car or provides pick-up services to other employees, here are things you need to know if you are pulled over in company vehicle.
Who Is Responsible for Paying If The Employee Gets A Ticket In Company Vehicle?
The answer to this question is not straightforward. Who will pay for the ticket varies from state-to-state. However, according to the general rule, there are two common scenarios.
- The employer or the company usually pays for the ticket if it is against the company vehicle.
- The company or employer will not be responsible for the ticket if it is against the person driving the vehicle.
Let’s assume an employee is driving a company car and get traffic lights violation ticket or parking ticket. In this case, the ticket will be sent to the employer or the company against whom the vehicle is registered. Most importantly, the company will pay for the ticket, and it cannot deduct that amount from the employee’s salary or remuneration.
That’s because the employer can only discipline the employees or take away the vehicle in such a situation. They cannot deduct anything from the employee’s salary—thanks to federal wage and hours laws.
Who is Responsible for Paying Tickets for Unregistered Company Vehicles?
It is pretty obvious that the employer should be proactive about vehicle registration affairs. The employer is responsible for renewing the vehicles timely and keeping them in working order. The company will be responsible for tickets or other legal penalties if an employee is driving a company car without a taillight or an expired tag.
What to do if You get a DUI in Company/Commercial Vehicle
If the employee gets a DUI (driving under influence), the employer will not be liable to pay for the tickets. It is important to understand that drunk driving is not an ordinary matter; it can have deadly repercussions. The employee driving the company vehicle in this situation will be responsible for civil and criminal liability.
The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior
Yes, the employee is solely responsible for any liabilities arising from DUI. However, if the employee get DUI during work hours or course of employment and was authorized by the company or employer, then the employer is liable for the actions of the employee.
Moreover, if the employee sustains injuries, he/she can go against the employer under the doctrine of respondeat superior. On the other hand, the employer will have to prove that he/she practiced reasonable care to prevent unlawful behavior from the employee. Otherwise, the employer will be held liable for the employee.
Will Cops Inform Your Employer If You Are Pulled Over In Company Vehicle?
Speeding tickets or other traffic violations in the company vehicle can definitely affect the employee-employer relationship and may lead to termination as well. Therefore, employees usually prefer to settle tickets by themselves. However, will the employer be able to find out if you are pulled over in a company vehicle?
Generally, your employer may not be able to find out about any violations unless;
- The company policy or state laws require you to inform the company about such incidents, or
- The employer checks your driving records regularly.
Here is how your boss may find out about the ticket.
1) The License Plate Number is Mentioned on the Ticket
If the cops pull you over for over speeding to traffic violations, they may ticket you on the spot. The cop may ask you for your license, insurance details, registration, etc. The officer may write the following information on your ticket;
- Your personal information
- Details of traffic code violation
- License plate numbers
If you are driving a company vehicle, the license plate number will be listed on the ticket, and your employer may be informed, especially if you don’t pay for the ticket.
2) The employer may Search License Plate Number Record
Some states have made it easier to search the details of traffic violations on a specific license plate number. That means your employer can also do the same for company-registered vehicles.
For example, if you are from New Jersey state and are involved in a traffic violation on a company vehicle, your boss can easily search the details on New Jersey Courts website. However, this option is not available in many states.
3) The Employer May Review Your Driving History
Another possibility for your boss to know about your speeding ticket in a company vehicle is by searching your driving history. The question is, can your employer do it? It depends on if you have allowed the motor vehicles department to disclose such information to your employer. Truck or bus drivers are often required to authorize the disclosure of such information.
4) State Laws/Company Policy Require The Employee To Inform Employers
Company policy or state laws may also require the employee to share the details of traffic violations with employers. For example, Washington state law requires commercial drivers to their employers about traffic violations (except speeding tickets) within 30 days of conviction. Failing to do so may authorize the employer to initiate disciplinary action.
Few jurisdictions also mail the details of the violation to the address listed on the ticket. If you are pulled over in company car, and the cop has listed your company/employer’s address on the ticket, the mail will be sent to that address.