Motor Carrier Safety Penalties Set to Increase

By Roy Maurer Apr 9, 2015
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule April 3, 2015, increasing most of its civil penalties for regulatory violations.

The periodic adjustments are based on cost-of-living increases and go into effect June 2, 2015, the agency said. In some cases penalties will increase by 30 percent, up to nearly 50 percent.

“Congress has stated … that increasing penalties over time will deter violations. Therefore, with this deterrence, FMCSA infers that there may be some safety benefits that occur due to this final rule. The deterrence effect of increasing penalties … cannot be reliably quantified into safety benefits, however,” the agency said.

The inflation-based increases are the first since 2007 for many of the violations, and some have not been changed since 2003, according to the FMCSA.

Examples of increases include the per-day penalty for operating a commercial vehicle by a driver who was placed out of service, which will increase to $3,100 from $2,100; knowingly falsifying records, which will jump to $11,000 from $10,000; and carrier financial responsibility violations, which will rise to $21,000 from $16,000.

A notice and list of all the changes can be found here.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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