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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is primarily tasked with preventing commercial vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities. In order to accomplish this mission, the FMCSA has been granted the authority to regulate commercial trucking operations in a myriad of ways. For example, in order to prevent trucking accidents the FMCSA regulates the number of hours that drivers can spend behind the wheel during the course of a week.

The FMCSA does not just regulate driver behavior, however. It also regulates safety requirements for commercial vehicles and safety protocols that must be followed by commercial carrier companies. If either drivers or carriers fail to follow regulations set by the FMCSA, serious consequences may result.

Most recently, the FMCSA reinforced the notion that ignoring federal commercial carrier regulations is a behavior that will not be tolerated. Earlier this month, the agency published a final rule concerning treatment of commercial carriers with a history of noncompliance. This rule grants the FMCSA authority to either suspend or completely revoke the operating authority of those carriers which have a history of egregious noncompliance. It also allows the agency similar authority to revoke or suspend privileges to those carriers whose noncompliance relates to exercising “controlling influence over their operations.”

Finally, the rule will expand the agency’s authority to shut down so-called chameleon carriers whose multiple operations under common control serve to conceal their pattern of noncompliance. The FMCSA’s most recent rule should reinforce the idea that following federal safety regulations is a must if carriers wish to remain operational.

Source: Commercial Carrier Journal, “FMCSA officially expands ability to shut down carriers with pattern of noncompliance,” James Jaillet, Jan. 22, 2014

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