Indiana adopts higher fines for OOS violations

| 4/8/2010

A new law in Indiana beefs up the state’s out-of-service violations. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association anticipates that states will continue to address their truck rules in an effort to protect themselves from possible legal challenges.

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill modifying state law concerning commercial driver’s licenses to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It takes effect July 1.

Previously SB74, the new law significantly increases fines for drivers found violating out-of-service orders. Instead of first offenders facing a $1,000 fine, they would be responsible for paying $2,500 fines.

Motor carriers also face greater punishment. Employers convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver in OOS status to get behind the wheel would face fines between $2,750 and $25,000. The fine has been $2,500.

Indiana is not alone in its pursuit of enacting harsher penalties for violating OOS orders. A similar effort is under way in New Hampshire. Elsewhere, New Jersey, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin have recently enacted changes into law.

During discussion of the bill in Indiana, it was made clear to lawmakers that a state audit of the commercial driver’s licensing division revealed the need to change the state’s rules. They were told that changes needed to be made in order to avoid losing some federal highway money.

In addition to the incentive to secure federal funding, OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz said another factor that could be spurring states to take action is the legal challenges brought by OOIDA against the state of Minnesota. The Association is challenging how six years’ worth of citations were issued involving motor carrier safety regulations.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Indiana, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

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