What is the purpose of the Negligent Operator Treatment System?
For generations, Californian’s have been told that “Driving is a privilege, not a right.” In other words, if you want to hold a California Driver License, you must qualify to drive and then once the license is issued, you must follow the rules. Once a Driver License is issued to a person, they are expected to:
- Maintain the mental/physical fitness to drive.
- Maintain the knowledge to drive.
- Maintain the skill to drive.
- Maintain appropriate auto insurance for any vehicle owned or operated.
- Drive safely
- Follow the rules of the road.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) utilizes a powerful computer database to monitor the driving history and behavior of all drivers in our state. Known as the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS), this database constantly receives information from a variety of sources that document how many citations a driver receives, how many accidents they are involved in, and if they convicted of certain driving crimes.
The DMV believes that an individual’s driving history and behavior reveals evidence that person may not have the proper knowledge or the skill to drive. More importantly, by monitoring a person’s driving history and behavior, the department believes it can identify those people who drive with a complete disregard for the safety of others.
When the NOTS computer identifies a person who has accumulated too many “points” for substandard driving behavior, the computer suspects there is something wrong and a process is initiated to prompt that person back into safe driving practices.
The California Vehicle Code has granted the DMV broad power to identify those people who may be unsafe drivers. The CVC also grants the DMV broad power to modify the driving behavior of those drivers who will comply and to punish those drivers who will not.
If an individual driver receives a warning letter that they are accumulating too many citations or accidents and if that driver improves their driving practices on their own, the DMV will take no action. If that same driver ignores a warning letter and continues to demonstrate unsafe driving practices, the DMV will move to automatically suspend that person’s privilege to drive.
The entire purpose of the Negligent Operator Treatment System is to promote public safety through information, education and punishment where necessary.
One of the inherent weaknesses in the NOTS system is that the computer database is often blind to underlying facts. For example, if a police officer issues a citation to an individual driver for four separate violations, the NOTS computer may inappropriately assign four violation points that driver; when in fact, there should only be one point accumulated. Also, it often happens that a driver is inappropriately assigned one point for a traffic collision because the NOTS computer does not recognize that driver was not at fault in the accident. This can result in normally safe drivers being drawn into the Negligent Operator system.
If you have received an “Order of Suspension” from the California DMV because the NOTS computer has identified you as a “Negligent Operator,” do not despair. There is much to be done to defend yourself and to protect your driving privilege. Don’t let the DMV steal your driving privilege without a fight.
Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates NOW. Our team of experts have been fighting and winning Negligent Operator Hearings for years. Call CDA today.