If you’ve had your fill of trucking regulations in recent years, you won’t like the latest changes under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act that was signed into law last summer. As of October 1, the trucking industry has a laundry list of new rules to abide by. These include the following.
Registration Problems can Take out Entire Fleets
While previous registration issues resulted in that particular truck being taken off the road, even one truck that is being operated without the proper registration is grounds for the entire fleet to be taken out of service (OOS).
Less Time for Safety Review
New drivers are now required to undergo a safety review after one year versus the previous 18 months.
Several fines have increased under the new changes, including:
- Carrying hazmats without proper registration: $40,000
- Evading regulations: $2,000-$5,000 for first offense, $2,500-$7,000 for the rest
- Ignoring a subpoena or order to appear or testify: $1,000-$10,000, revocation of registration
- Operating an OOS vehicle: Up to $25,000 per day
- Operating an OOS vehicle with hazmats: Up to $75,000 per day ($175,000 if doing so causes death, serious illness, severe injury or substantial property damage)
- Violating recordkeeping or reporting requirements: $1,000
- Violating registration requirements: $10,000
Importantly, a carrier’s ability to pay will no longer be considered when determining penalty levels.
Tougher Rules for Foreign Commercial Drivers
States must now report foreign commercial driver convictions.
Also, a foreign commercial driver may have his or her license suspended for a disqualifying offense.
And, foreign motor carriers may have their operating authority revoked for failing to pay civil penalties.
Tougher Rules for Employers
Employers are now prohibited from permitting an employee to drive when they know or should know his or her CDL is suspended or revoked.
Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now has the authority to demand to inspect a broker or motor carrier’s building, equipment, land or records.
More “Financial Security”
Brokers and freight forwarders now have a minimum financial security of $75,000. Note that the bond requirement has now been extended to freight forwarders.
For better or worse, the regulatory environment in the trucking industry is getting stricter by the year. Among the listed changes, the most notable is that even just one vehicle with an invalid registration can take an entire fleet off the road and lead to heavy fines in the process.
Perhaps just as important is the fact that ability to pay is no longer considered when assessing penalties, meaning one major mistake could jeopardize a small trucking company. Every other change is important, as well, but the two mentioned items are those that could truly threaten a trucking business’ existence.
For a full list of changes, click here or contact the FMCSA