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Saturday, February 27, 2021

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FMCSA increase fines for trucking violations

On January 11, 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) increased the civil penalty amounts that drivers and carriers can be fined for violating federal trucking regulations. The FMCSA, along with other Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies, is required to adjust its civil penalty amounts each year according to inflation. (The last increase was published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2019; the increase for 2020 may have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.)

For 2021, all baseline penalties have been increased by approximately 1.17 percent. The fine increases were published in the Federal Register on January 11 and went into effect immediately. There was no prior notice or comment period.

In addition, DOT issued a final rule giving FMCSA the authority to impose civil penalties for violations of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (49 CFR part 382 subpart G). “Any employer, employee, medical review officer, or service agent who violates any provision of 49 CFR part 382, subpart G [Ö] is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,833,” the rule states.


The other FMCSA fine increases of potential relevance to heating fuel dealers are listed here, with hazardous materials penalties in red for convenient reference. The complete list of DOT civil penalties and related fines is available here.

Note: some of these penalties apply specifically to carriers engaged in interstate transportation while others fall under general and intermodal programs. Carriers are encouraged to consult legal counsel on all matters related to federal trucking regulations and violations.

 

Violation Prior Fine New Fine
Disobeying subpoena - minimum $1,093 $1,112
Disobeying subpoena - maximum $10,932 $11,125
Out-of-service order (operation of CMV by driver) $1,895 $1,928
Out-of-service order (requiring or permitting operation of CMV by driver) $18,943 $19,277
Out-of-service order (operation by driver of CMV or intermodal equipment that was placed out of service) $1,895 $1,928
Out-of-service order (requiring or permitting operation of CMV or intermodal equipment that was placed out of service) $18,943 $19,277
Out-of-service order (failure to return written certification of correction) $947 $964
Out-of-service order (failure to cease operations as ordered) $27,331 $27,813
Out-of-service order (operating in violation of order) $24,017 $24,441
Out-of-service order (conducting operations during suspension or revocation for failure to pay penalties) $15,419 $15,691
Out-of-service-order (conducting operations during suspension or revocation) $24,017 $24,441
Recordkeeping - maximum penalty per day $1,270 $1,292
Recordkeeping - maximum total penalty $12,695 $12,919
Knowing falsification of records $12,695 $12,919
Non-recordkeeping violations $15,419 $15,691
Non-recordkeeping violations by drivers $3,855 $3,923
Blood alcohol concentration level (first conviction) $3,174 $3,230
Blood alcohol concentration level (second or subsequent conviction) $6,348 $6,460
Commercial driver's license violations $5,732 $5,833
Special penalties pertaining to violation of out-of-service orders (first conviction) $3,174 $3,230
Special penalties pertaining to violation of out-of-service orders (second or subsequent conviction) $6,348 $6,460
Employer violations pertaining to knowingly allowing, authorizing employee violations of out-of-service order (minimum penalty) $5,732 $5,833
Employer violations pertaining to knowingly allowing, authorizing employee violations of out-of-service order (maximum penalty) $31,737 $32,297
Special penalties pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossing violations $16,453 $16,743
Financial responsibility violations $16,915 $17,213
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (transportation or shipment of hazardous materials) $81,993 $83,439
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (training) - minimum $493 $502
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (training) - maximum $81,993 $83,439
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (packaging or container) $81,993 $83,439
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (compliance with FMCSRs) $81,993 $83,439
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety Permitting Regulations (resulting in death, serious illness, severe injury to persons; destruction of property) $191,316 $194,691
Operating after being declared unfit by assignment of a final "unsatisfactory" safety rating (generally) $27,331 $27,813
Operating after being declared unfit by assignment of a final "unsatisfactory" safety rating (hazardous materials) - maximum $81,993 $83,439
Operating after being declared unfit by assignment of a final "unsatisfactory" safety rating (hazardous materials) - maximum penalty if operations resulted in death, serious illness, severe injury to persons; destruction of property $191,316 $194,691
Violations of the commercial regulations (property carriers) $10,932 $11,125
Violations of the CRs (brokers) $10,932 $11,125
Violations of the CRs (motor carrier or broker for transportation of hazardous wastes) - minimum penalty $21,865 $22,251
Violations of the CRs (motor carrier or broker for transportation of hazardous wastes) - maximum penalty $43,730 $44,501
Violations related to loading and unloading motor vehicles $16,453 $16,743
Reporting and record keeping - minimum $1,093 $1,112
Reporting and record keeping - maximum $8,227 $8,372
Unauthorized disclosure of information $3,291 $3,291
Violation of condition or registration $823 $838
Copying of records and access to equipment, lands, and buildings - maximum penalty per day $1,270 $1,292
Copying of records and access to equipment, lands, and buildings - maximum total penalty $12,695 $12,919
Evasion of regulations - minimum penalty for first violation $2,187 $2,226
Evasion of regulations - maximum penalty for first violation $5,466 $5,562
Evasion of regulations - minimum penalty for subsequent violation(s) $2,732 $2,780
Evasion of regulations - maximum penalty for subsequent violation(s) $8,199 $8,344

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