FMCSA raises civil penalty amounts

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | 4/2/2015

To accommodate inflation and comply with a 1990 law on the books, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be increasing several civil penalty amounts in June.

The agency will publish a final rule on April 3 that increases a number of civil penalties the agency can assess on both motor carriers and drivers.

Most of the penalties were adjusted for inflation in 2007, according to the final rule. However, several have not been increased since 2003. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – the current highway funding law called MAP 21 – also mandated some adjustments to the penalties for hazardous materials operations.

The agency has the authority to assess civil penalties on both motor carriers and individual drivers during enforcement action. Penalties can be assessed for things like violating an out-of-service order, falsification of records, not keeping mandatory records, and illegal transportation of hazardous materials, to name a few.

The 1990 law that calls on the agency to adjust civil penalties lays out a method to the increases, prohibiting any sort of arbitrary approach to the penalty amounts.

In the April 3 final rule, the agency announces increases to 39 of the 67 various civil penalties the agency has in its enforcement arsenal. The increases range from $100 to $20,000. Click here to see the complete list of civil penalties and the adjustments announced by the agency.

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