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Agency increases fines, strengthens out-of-service order authority

| October 01, 2013

inspection sticker applicationThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration — in compliance with the MAP-21 highway funding law finalized last year — has increased fines for several violations of its regulations and widened its authority to issue out-of-service orders, per an entry in the Federal Register Oct. 1.

The new rules, made final Oct. 1, allows the agency to place an entire carrier out of service for operating vehicles “without or beyond the scope of registration,” according to the regulation, whereas previously only the unregistered vehicle itself could be placed out of service. 

The changes also include an amendment to a rule that shortens the time period in which new entrant carriers undergo a safety review from 18 months to 12 months. 

Related: FMCSA remains operational in light of government shutdown

Other amendments include increasing the minimum required for broker bonds to $75,000 and extending the requirement to freight forwarders and removing the “ability to pay” wording from the list of factors FMCSA takes into account when assessing civil penalties for violations relating to to commercial motor vehicle safety regulation and operators. 

Language has also changed regarding employer knowledge of an unlicensed driver and driver traffic violations from “the employer knew” to “the employer knows or should reasonably know.”

Here’s a summary of the fines that have increased under the rule changes: 

Violation of FMCSA’s reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements: Now $1,000 (from $500) for violating reporting and recordkeeping requirements, $10,000 (also from $500) for non-passenger carrier registration violations. 

Transporting hazmat without appropriate registration: Now maximum $40,000 (from $20,000)

Failing to obey a subpoena or an order to appear or testify: Now $1,000 to $10,000 (from $100 to $5,000) 

Operating after being declared out-of-service: $25,000 maximum (each day treated as a separate offense)

Operating a vehicle hauling hazmat after being placed out-of-service: $75,000 maximum (each day treated as separate offense); if violation results in death, serious illness or severe injury of anyone or substantial destruction of property, maximum penalty moves to $175,000 

Evading regulations; Knowing and willful violations: Now $2,000-$5,000 for first time offense, $2,500-$7,000 for subsequent

  • lastgoodusername

    i think these fines are way too low. if they would double them then they could put the company or driver out of the business for good. 1 violation and you are out. that seems to be logical, at least to our government anyway. someone please help us all.

  • guest

    Hopefully this will drive these illegal aliens OUT of the trucking industry and THEY will return to their villages.
    These illegal alien trucking companies are completely out of control and need to be investigated and ARRESTS made as well as the MOST SEVERE FINES imposed on these criminals who are usually hauling DOPE.

  • Thomas Duncan

    really have you ever seen anything the govt. has gotten so deep into ever get any better?

  • Scott Griffin

    American gov is way to stupid to be allowed to impose one strike you’re out BS. These fines are ridiculous too. I am an owner operator and try as diligently as I can to be compliant on all issues. But that doesn’t mean some reg can’t slip by me. Why should I be penalized for some small bs infraction that would put me out of business and onto the welfare rolls? Or cost me one to five grand for an oversight on some minuscule record keeping infraction? It’s just the gov way of funding the mass of BS thru a fee instead of outright taxation they know they can’t ask for!

  • Mike Smith

    How about a stringent FINE for Mexicans, and other aliens driving trucks in our country unable to speak clear & understandable English. AND demanding inspectors, (all officers), being REQUIRED to put them out of service.

  • Mike Smith


  • g

    Yea…when will the cops EVER get these illegal aliens and cut rate mexican maniac companies OFF the damn Road?? They drive like Lunatics and are an EXTREME hazard to Americans everywhere..contantly killing and maiming. There are 20,000 HIT and RUN wrecks in Los Angeles ALONE…Most are commited by illegal aliens….shows how MUCH they RESPECT America and our Laws????? Deport Them..Impound there stupid Jalopy trucks.

  • guest

    Our BIGGEST problem is these illegal aliens in OUR business….THIS is a CRIME. They have NO Business driving an 18 wheeler….Cops KNOW this..but do NOT enforce our LAWS. Instead they will chase and American Trucker to Hell just to write him a citation for some petty infraction….THIS is INJUSTICE…these mexicans KNOW this and it makes US a laughing stock and a MOCKERY if we are tying to COMPLY and keep a Safe driving history. These illegal alien drivers do anything they damn well please AND get AWAY with it…then Laugh at Us Americans and SPEED down the highways…using FAKE documents….THIS Needs to Stop.

  • guest

    Obama says there are 11 Million illegal aliens in America…well then go arrest them?? Duh…somebody didnt do their JOB atc ICE and Border Patrol?? So what we should KISS their brown asses??? They have got themselves in an alot of 18 wheelers Barack….in case YOU hadnt noticed..and your COPS still dont do their JOB and arrest them????? WHY are we the Taxpayers PAYING the salary for dopes NOT doing their JOB?? They NEED to be dragged OUT of OUR industry and taken back to their stupid HOMELAND.

  • guest

    There are more illegal aliens in OUR trukstops than AMERICANS!!!!! It looks like and Invasion Of Cockroaches!!!
    These COPS are Paid to let this HAPPEN…otherwise it would NOT be going on…Police are Very efficient….Big Money is ORDERING Police Agencies including D.O.T and Highway Patrol to let these illegal aliens Drive Trucks…this needs to STOP….they are illegal and WE are an industry full of LAWS and RULES…..Americans have to ABIDE by ALL the damn rules..not just Some of them and SO DO THESE illegal Aliens……they need to be FOUND OUT and ARRESTED if these COPS expect AMERICANS to abide by law after law….and COMPETE with Criminal Foreign Invaders for Jobs and Freight??? Go to HELL Cops.

  • Jackie Miller
  • Jason Haggard

    Anne Ferro is out of control, and the demand for her immediate dismissal and a REAL investigation into the offices of the FMCSA needs to be conducted. They are not a safety administration any longer, they are in fact paid extortionists.

    Yes Anne Ferro you are an extortionist as well, how is it that someone with zero real world experience with trucks can be in charge of regulating them? This clearly isn’t a case of experience leading an agency, it is a prime example of someone who was put in charge of an agency to serve as a puppet for a corrupt administration that is in dire need of money and they figured the best way to get that money is to extort the trucking industry.

    Notice how if you call them out for what they truly are then you get no answer. If you question them about real safety issues you get the answer “we’ll have to look into that’ or “we don’t have the data on that”. Its because the agency has become a farce. The mission of the FMCSA is to keep making new regulations under pressure from lobbyists and to make sure those new regulations are accompanied by fines that can keep cash in the coffers.

  • Jason Haggard

    They can’t do anything to them except deport them, then they come back across the border and do it all over again.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    That’ll solve the problems. Dun companies for more money.
    Gotta love it…

    Makes me sick to my stomach. Idiots.

  • Jocko Ramos

    The easy fix is to just pass a law and give out fines. The problem is with some drivers, the shippers and hack Companies that run their equipment on bailing wire and duct tape. American Owner Operators included. I have worked for and walked out on many companies that ran their trucks knowing that they should have been placed out of service. When ever I told a truck manager and or owner, that I found something that made the truck dangerous to operate on the road. I would be threatened with losing my job or ridiculed. They would always find an other driver for the truck.and yes, they were White American truck drivers. The Companies were owned by White Americans and the management of these companies were white Americans. So since the conversation is going in this direction. I am mexican(American) and have more then a Million miles, no tickets, hauling Haz-Mat-fuel rods-nuclear, Fuel tanker, Heavey haul, Doubles triples, DOE Bomb certified, 48 states for 18years and not one ticket. Please educate your selves on the topic. Remember United we stand divided we fall and right now the Government has us divided.

  • guest

    Yes they are good at that…They report that these illegal aliens usually have been deported several times BEFORE they finally end up in PRISONS here for serious crimes…so Many are Just No Good!!!

  • guest

    anne baby is bought and paid for….by Walmart and mega fleets….big money lobbies in Washington and is COZY with Foxx and Ferro……..evrything benefits the RICH.

  • Joshua Collins

    This is all just ramping up to removing the driver from the freight equation altogether. You think they are going to stop at automated cars? The end to human operated freight transport is coming to an end.

  • mousekiller

    Unfortunately getting the LEO’s to enforce our laws on the Mexican trucks is an uphill battle.

    In CA the Leos are instructed quietly to ignore the obvious Mexican trucks. I have been passed by a Mexican truck that was doing at least 70 + mph with a CHP” in the other lane ignoring it going S on I-15. If we dont stand up and do something besides complain we are going to be kneeling.

  • jap

    how ignorant you guys are, just to let you know “””” illegal aliens “”” are not allowed to drive trucks, before you post anything stupid
    as your opinion inform yourself of the laws

  • hotdog

    While stopped at the Trinidad, CO scales on I-25nb a while back, I had a brief conversation with the CO DOT officer who informed me that just in their district they had caught TWO illegal aliens with NO CDL’s driving semi trucks and hauling hay just in THAT week. He said it happens quite often

  • ConsultantInAction

    There are also East Indians in the Northwest that operate illegally…No Insurance, Unregistered Unlicensed Vehicles.
    In fact, an accident occurred on Snoqualmie Pass in 2011, the person causint the Accident was an East Indian, while waiting for the Authorities, he had called for assistance. Instead of assistance, a private passenger car, picked him up and he left the scene of the accident unnoticed by the authorities…The other vehicle was the vehicle damaged most, his insurance had to pay for the wreck….No LICENSE, NO INSURANCE, NO ICC OR CC PERMIT…

  • lastgoodusername

    i was being sarcastic. seems that for some unknown reason the powers to be want to put the o/o out of business in favor of the big companies.

  • Scott Griffin

    Damn sure agree with you on that one.

  • mousekiller

    It is not just the Mexicans. but many others of our southern neighbors Guatemala, El Salvador. Chile and a few other countries. But nobody says anything about the quiet illegals. The ones from eastern bloc countries like Serbia, Russia, Lithuania and a few more. They are not on the watch list as they look like the rest of us. but, when obama and his henchmen open the borders these few million easterners are going to get the same benefits and status as the mexicans do. They just dont want you to know about it.. You and I are going to pay for it. Ask your legislator about it. Tell him what he needs to know and to not allow amnesty of any kind. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.