FMCSA Issues Rule Increasing Motor Carrier Civil Penalties for Violating Federal Regs

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FMCSA Issues Rule Increasing Motor Carrier Civil Penalties for Violating Federal Regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a final rule increasing most of its motor carrier civil penalties for violations of federal regulations. In an April 3 Federal Register announcement, the agency said that several laws require the periodic adjustments based on cost-of-living increases that caused the penalty in some cases to increase from 30% to nearly 50%. The new penalties go into effect June 2, 2015, the agency said. “Congress has stated in the Adjustment Act, section 2, that increasing penalties over time will deter violations,” FMCSA said. “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, which Congress has recognized, cannot be reliably quantified into safety benefits, however.” For example, the per day penalty for operating a commercial vehicle by a driver during the period the driver was placed out of service will increase to $3,100 from $2,100, knowingly falsifying records will jump to $11,000 from $10,000, and carrier financial responsibility violations will rise to $21,000 from $16,000. ~ Transport Topic

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