Penalties stiffened for violating out-of-service orders

| 7/6/2007

Truckers violating out-of-service orders now face longer CDL suspensions and increased fines.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule in the Federal Register Thursday, July 5, that implements quite a few provisions mandated by the current highway funding legislation.

Provisions in funding act signed into law in 2005 mandated, among other things, changes in penalties for violating out-of-service orders.

Included in the July 5 final rule are changes to both the CDL suspensions and civil penalties for truckers and employers of truckers who violate out-of-service orders.

Starting Sept. 4, truckers with non-hazmat loads busted violating an out-of-service order will lose their CDL for no less than 180 days and no more than one year for the first violation, a move that doubles the minimum suspension.

The suspensions go up to no less than two years and no more than five years for the second offense – again doubling of the current minimum suspension requirement of one year.

Truckers hauling hazmat caught violating an out-of-service order still face CDL suspension of at least 180 days and no more than two years for the first offense. The second offense still carries a suspension of no less than three years and no more than five.

Truckers hauling either non-hazmat loads or hazmat loads still face a suspension of no less than three years and no more than five years for the third and subsequent offenses – the same suspension currently faced.

In addition to the CDL suspensions, truckers face a fine of at least $2,500 for the first offense and at least $5,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. That more than doubles the current minimum fines.

Fines for employers of truckers violating the out-of-service order will be no less than $2,750 and no more than $25,000. The change increases the maximum penalty from $10,000.