If you spend the majority of your time transporting goods, then this information will come in handy. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has tightened a series of compliance standards and fees. Enforceable by federal, state, and local law officials, these “rules of the road” could spell maximum penalties. Not only will your reputation suffer, but your wallet will too if you don’t comply. Commercial drivers could endure:
- A written warning
- Monetary fines
- CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) score hits
- Suspension of CMV license
- Suspension of your company’s business dealings
- Jail-time and/or court proceedings
This summer, however, fines will be historically high, fueled by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. How high, exactly? Expect to pay hundreds of dollars more in repercussions, an unprecedented jump from 12 months ago.
It’s a big deal for big rigs creating lane closures for insubordinate motor carriers, shippers, freight forwarders and brokers. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may levy civil penalties on a driver, ranging from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation.
Commercial Drivers Find Themselves In The Hot Seat
What costs will big box retailers pay? If you rely on third-party logistics companies for cargo transport, you’re at the mercy of their inspection and safety standards. Roadside violations, on their part, can mean the difference between smooth delivery of goods or negligent delays. On a bad day, you could experience a larger-than-life payout and the permanency of a scarred record.
At Gorgo Group, we own 400 53’ dry van trailers and a fleet of tractors. As a dual supply chain specialist servicing LTL and FTL freights, we conduct routine safety checks before the rubber meets the road. And, through our automated tracking system, we know where our fleet is headed at all times. Due diligence like this, let’s us boast an extremely high industry percentage rate for on-time, end-to-end service.
Injuries like damaged shipments and government infractions are red flags. Be sure you know the logistics provider’s track record, including all compliance measures as well as crash ratings and customer loyalty.
Common DOT Traffic Violations: The Commercial Trucking Whistleblowers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports there were 493,730 trucking companies operating in the United States in 2016. That’s 10.42 billion tons of freight moved and a whopping 79.8 percent of total freight sales. Yet, up to 32 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were placed out-of-service due to a breach.
Fines have nearly disrupted this economic engine leaving skid marks in its wake.
Common violated regulations:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to use a seatbelt
- Improper lane change
- Tariff violations
- Failure to set-up a DOT drug and alcohol testing program
- Insufficient permits and record keeping
- Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs)
- Operating out-of-service equipment
- Failure to obey subpoena
- Disregard of financial responsibilities
For a complete list of penalty hikes, click here.
DOT Compliance: Staying The Course
You can avoid commercial motor vehicle violations with these action steps.
First, make sure your team understands and abides by the regulations outlined in CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Title 49.
Second, stay up to date with paperwork, including purchase orders, contracts, and driver log auditing.
Third, only employ CDL drivers who are properly trained and stringent in not exceeding dutiful hours. In fact, FMCSA’s regulations (395.8a) state that drivers must record duty status for every 24-hour period of on-the-job work.
Fourth, go the distance with digital technology. Avoid highway patrol and unanticipated roadside checks with the help of an FMCSA-compliant electronic logging device. Timely alerts and automated systems are changing driver awareness and putting security first.
After all, some rules aren’t meant to be broken. Gorgo Group believes sound strategies are the backbone of good business. And, we’re exceeding expectations on the road less traveled.
Lean on us and keep on trucking. Let’s get to work.