FMCSA Adjusts Motor Carrier Civil Penalties

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an interim final rule that  has changed its motor carrier civil penalties for violations of federal regulations during the adjustment for inflation process, according to Transport News.

Some fines are higher than previous years, and some are lower, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made the adjustments based on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Those adjustments result in most penalties jumping from 10% to more than 105%. The adjusted penalties go into effect August 1st. The rule provides for some of the more serious penalties to be assessed on a daily basis if a carrier fails to take corrective action or obey out-of-service or suspension orders. Although most of the penalty increases are computed using a formula, others are left to the discretion of the agency, according to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

The largest increase was for each day a carrier conducts operations after a suspension or revocation, which more than doubled to $22,587 from $11,000. The penalty for operating in violation of an out-of-service order jumped 41%, to $22,587 from $16,000, according to the rule.

By contrast, the agency decreased the penalty for a driver operating a commercial vehicle during the period the driver was placed out of service to $1,782 from $3,100. The penalty for serious violations of hazardous materials regulations remained the most costly, increasing to $179,933 from $175,000.