Federal fines for regs violations increasing for inflation

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, May 3, 2021: 

DOT increases fines for regs violations based on inflation
For the second time this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, along with other Department of Transportation agencies, is updating fines for violations of federal trucking regulations for inflation. The DOT didn’t issue the 2020 update until January 2021.

DOT is required by Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 to adjust fine amounts each year based on inflation.

A final rule that published in the Federal Register Monday, May 3, made the new fine amounts effective immediately. The 2015 Act required FMCSA and other DOT agencies to issue an initial “catch-up” adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation.

The DOT, to find the 2021 adjustment amount, had to multiply the penalty amount by the percentage change between the October 2020 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the October 2019 CPI-U, which for 2021 was 1.01182. Given this multiplier, all of the fine amounts increased.

The updated fines for violations can be seen here.

Thousands of International trucks recalled
A potential issue affecting the engines of more than 10,000 International trucks has prompted a recall from Navistar, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

Navistar is recalling approximately 10,038 model year 2019-2021 International LT and RH trucks. The company says the wrist pin may crack and cause connecting rod failure, which could cause the engines to stall.

Navistar will notify owners, and dealers will install a detection system software to warn the driver prior to engine connecting rod failure. Additionally, engines with a defective connecting rod will be repaired, free of charge. Vehicles previously repaired under Recall 20V-255, which received only a software update, will need to return to the dealer for the new remedy.

Owners can contact Navistar customer service at 1-800-448-7825 with recall number 20505. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-281.

More options for tracking to eliminate brokers' check calls
Digital freight management technology provider Trucker Tools and electronic-logging-device provider Gorilla Safety have inked a deal to integrate location data from Gorilla Safety ELDs into Trucker Tools' Smart Capacity location-tracking solution. The move will expand on current data streams captured through the Trucker Tools mobile driver app, which provides smartphone-based GPS-supported location updates as frequently as every 15 minutes to freight partners from carriers under a load.

“The end goal is to reduce the burden on drivers, make their life easier and more efficient,” said Jeremy Feucht, Gorilla Safety’s vice president of product.  “We’re eliminating the need to manually provide tracking updates, so drivers no longer have to field those annoying ‘check calls’ from brokers.” He noted other benefits as well, including a measure of greater privacy, given location data fed from the ELD unit and not the driver's smartphone.  

The link-up of the two platforms comes at the request of multiple mutual customers, said Trucker Tools' Prasad Gollapalli.  “Brokers and shippers want to be able to consume every piece of real-time data and intelligence about shipment progress they can get. We’re addressing that need and at the same time, enabling truckers who’ve adopted Gorilla Safety ELDs to easily respond to customers while increasing operating efficiency and gaining more utility from their investment.” 

With the integration, truckers and fleets that have installed Gorilla Safety ELDs will be able to choose the Gorilla Safety ELD or the Trucker Tools mobile app for the provision of tracking data.  

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