2013 US Trucking Industry News – FMCSA Rule Changes Highlights Higher Fines and Penalties

Earlier in 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, also known as MAP 21, was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Along with this law is the authority given to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to continue improving highway regulations and safety rules on the US roads.

 

After this law was signed, FMCSA made changes to highway rules and regulations, which will greatly affect trucking companies. The changes were made official on October 1, 2013 with a total of seventeen changes.

 

The 17 rule changes were published in the Federal Register, and these cover a wide variety of regulations, some of which include an increase on monetary penalties for highway violations. The changes will be enacted not only to U.S truckers, but also to foreigner drivers and motor carriers coming into the country. This final rule is already made effective as of October 1. Petition for reviews with regard to the changes was set for a deadline not later than December 2, 2013.

 

Listed below are these changes along with some previous regulations and their corresponding penalties that are applicable to all motor carriers (including foreigners).

 

Violation RegulationsPrevious PenaltiesNew Rule Changes
Safety reviews on fitness of new operationsFitness safety reviews takes place after 18 months of new operationsNew motor carrier will undergo fitness review after 12 months of operation.Bus will be reviewed after 120 days.
Operating without registration$500 for record keeping violation and $2,000 for registration violation$1,000 for record keeping violation and $10,000 for registration violation
Revocation of registration and failure to respond to subpoenaA fine between $100 and $500A fine between $1,000 and $10,000
Fleetwide operation without required proper authority or operating outside its scope of authorityOffending truck goes out-of-serviceThe entire motor carrier will be put out-of-service
Drivers with suspended, cancelled, or revoked Commercial Driver’s LicenseEmployers can allow a truck driver with cancelled, revoked, or suspended CDL only if they are informed about it.Employers are prohibited to permit truck drivers whose CDL is invalid to driver.
Violation of operation out-of-service ordersA $25,000 penalty is imposed for operating CMVs in violation of an unfit or imminent hazard out-of-service orders
Penalty for evasion of regulations$200 to $500 for first offense and $250 t0 $2,000 for subsequent violations$2,000 to $5,000 for first offense and $2,500 t0 $7,000 for subsequent violations
Civil penalties or violations resulting to “death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destructionof property”$100,000 penalty for destructions, injury or death and $50,000 penalty for violations of transportation of hazardous materials$175,000 for the mentioned violation and $75,000 penalty for transporting hazardous materials
Foreign drivers and motor carriers who violates highway regulationsThe state will report convictions of foreign drivers and motor carriers or non-CVMs who do not have a CDL license to the FMCSA
Authority to disqualify foreign commercial driversThe criteria for disqualifying truck drivers will apply to foreign drivers as well
Foreign drivers who fails to pay civil penaltiesFMCSA is authorized to suspend, amend, and revoke is also applied to foreign motor carriers
Inspection demand and display o credentials from enforcement communityMCSAP employees are newly authorized individuals to inspect certain equipment and records
Violations concerning CMV safety regulation and operatorsViolators can pay a fine for the violationFMCSA remove the “ability to pay” whenassessing a penalty on a motor carrier
Emergency disqualification for imminent hazardImminent hazard is changed to – any condition of vehicle, employee, or commercial motor vehicle operations that substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death if not discontinued immediately
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance ProgramLocal governments can now be identified as MCSAP partners
Financial security of brokers and freight forwardersBrokers are set to pay a minimum of $75,000 broker bonds
Waivers, exemptions and pilot programsPilot program are no longer necessary to be published in the Federal Register. Individuals who are granted exemptions with regard home state must inform roadside enforcements.

 

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