The Federal Motor Carrier Administration has a number of
tools to meet its stated goal of reducing the number of commercial motor
vehicle crashes. Included in these are
information about roadside inspections (CSA), educating motor carriers through
seminars and entry level audits, and enforcement actions. There are three primary types of enforcement
used by the FMCSA, including the roadside inspection, targeted audit, and
compliance review. Any one of these three
enforcement actions can lead to fines, penalties, and in very rare cases, the
shutting down of an operation. The fines
that can be levied were significantly increased on June 2, 2015.
Some of the updated fines:
|Category || Fine as of June 2, 2015|| Previous fine|
| Knowingly falsifying records||Up to $11,000 ||Up to $10,000 |
| Egregious hours of service violations||Up to $16,000 ||Up to $11,000 |
| HMR violations associated with the transportation or shipment of hazardous materials||Up to $75,000 for each violation ||Not less than $250 and not more than $50,000 for each violation |
| Violations of hazardous materials training requirements ||Not less than $50 and not more than $75,000 for each violation ||Not less than $450 and not more than $50,000 for each violation |
| An employer allowing a CDL driver to violate an OOS order||Not less than $4,750 or more than $27,500 ||Not less than $3,750 and not more than $16,000 |
| A CDL holder who is convicted of violating an OOS order||Not less than $2,750 for the first conviction and not less than $5,500 for each subsequent conviction ||Not less than $2,100 and not more than $3,750 |
While the fines may not seem to be “back-breaking” they can
quickly add up if multiple violations are found during an inspection or
review. In some cases the fines may not
show up for months after a roadside inspection is completed or in the case of a
compliance review, can exceed $100,000 if a number of critical violations are
uncovered. Additionally, multiple
critical violations can result in a failed audit or compliance review that
could place the motor carrier into a “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” safety
Another unwelcome result of an enforcement action is that once the
action is settled, it is a matter of public record, as highlighted in
www.truckinginfo.com. This information
negatively reflects on the organization, even if the underlying issues were
minor at the time of the infraction.
Shippers, plaintiff attorneys, insurance carriers, and the media will
seek out this information as needed.
Potential drivers will also look at CSA scores and the underlying
violations when vetting a potential employer.
In one case a few years back, a large Midwestern newspaper had at the
top of its Sunday headline “Truck Firms Fines Among Highest in the
Industry”. They were talking about a
local trucking company that received a fine of $92,000 for multiple critical
violations in 2007. While the fine was
significant it was not nearly as painful as the damage done to the
To combat the challenges associated with FMCSA regulations, we
- Requiring drivers to submit all roadside inspections in a timely manner.
- Checking online safety data (CSA) regularly to monitor roadside inspection violations. There may be occasions where inspections are miscoded or an officer misinterpreted a regulation. Any issues such as these can be challenged through the DataQ System.
- Conduct a regular assessment of the FMCSA compliance program to ensure that the various components are in compliance with the regulations.
- Educate drivers and management on FMCSA compliance regulations and their roles in remaining complaint.
With safety being the
number one concern and mission of the FMCSA, it is imperative that you have a
training program in
place to address issues before an audit. Preparing your drivers for a range of
on-the-road issues, recordkeeping and CDL violations is your best bet for
staying away from the increasing FMCSA fines and penalties. HUB Transportation
experts help you achieve high safety ratings through safety assessments and
in-depth training programs as well as providing ways to reduce the cost of fleet insurance.