FMCSA has published an interim final rule amending the civil penalties assessed or enforced by the Agency to reflect an adjustment in fines that is based on changes for inflation.

The adjustments apply to truck, bus and motorcoach companies regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and are mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

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FMCSA will assess the new penalties both in cases in which a penalty increases and when it decreases, to ensure penalty amounts align with current inflation trends and cost-of-living increases.

Adjusted amounts can result in a jump of from 10% to more than 105%. The largest increase was for each day that a carrier conducts operations after a suspension or revocation. The fine amount will more than double, from $11,000 to $22,587.

The Agency decreased the penalty for a driver operating a commercial vehicle during the period the driver was placed out of service from $3,100 to $1,782. An article published in the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) includes a chart detailing the new fines compared to former penalty values as indicated by FMCSA.

Comments on the final rule are being accepted through direct access to the website, posted at the top of the final rule and clicking on the “Submit a Formal Comment” box. The Docket Number for this rule is FMCSA-2016-0128. The new penalties will go into effect on August 1, 2016.

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