On Monday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment of 2015 interim final rule (IFR) to the Federal Register. So? You might be in for a surprise next time you get pulled over – many fines for federal safety regulation violations have increased…a couple have decreased too!
Why Is This Happening?
I won’t go into too much detail on this – you can read the full reasoning here. Simply put – this IFR adjusts the penalty amount for various violations to account for inflation. Some fines have increased and some have decreased.
The FMCSA was required to issue this IFR as outlined in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
When Are The Fines Changing?
The IFR was published on Monday, June 27, 2016 to the Federal Register and outlined the changes to fines. The new fines will be going into effect on Monday, August 1, 2016.
A total of 68 violations were impacted by inflation rate changes. A complete listing with detailed legal authority information can be found on the Federal Register website. Matt Cole also published some excellent charts in his article on Overdrive.com. There you’ll find a comprehensive list of the violations with their former and new violation fine values.
Biggest Increases and Decreases
The majority of fines only increased or decreased slightly. However, there are some notable ones we wanted to make you aware of:
Top 5 Increases
- Tariff violations
- Out-of-service: Conducting operations during suspension or revocation
- Out-of-service: Operating in violation of order
- Knowingly and willingly failing to deliver or unload household goods
- Violations of hazardous materials regulations and safety permitting regulations (death, serious illness, sever injury to persons; destruction of property)
Top 5 Decreases
- Financial responsibility violations
- Out-of-service order: Requiring or permitting operation of a CMV by driver
- Out-of-service order: Requiring or permitting operation of a CMV or intermodal equipment that was placed out-of-service
- Violations of the CRs, foreign motor carriers, foreign motor private carriers before implementation of North American Free Trade Agreement Land Transportation provisions (maximum penalty for a pattern of international violations)
- Alcohol prohibition violations
The violations that saw the biggest movement – also came with the biggest fines. It’s important for everyone to prioritize safety and compliance by making it part of their day-to-day routine. Simple proactive steps can save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run.