What You Need to Know About DOT Violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a part of the Department of Transportation, or DOT. Its responsibility is to put into place rules and regulations around the interstate transit of hazardous materials, commercial cargo, and large motor vehicles. DOT violations put your ability to drive and maintain proper insurance at risk.
Types of Vehicles Subject to DOT Violations
Any motor vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds is subject to regulations from the Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds requires a commercial driver’s license to operate. These vehicles are subject to DOT rules.
Common DOT Violations
Moving violations are common. They include speeding, following too closely, improper lane changes or turns, failure to obey a traffic or railroad signal and failure to yield the right-of-way. Failing to wear a seat belt is also a violation. Using a cellphone, failure to secure a load and not doing a pre-trip roadside inspection also puts you in violation of the DOT rules for commercial driving. A violation could result in community service hours, jail time, or a fine.
Maintaining DOT compliance is serious business. Federal, state and local law enforcement personnel are all responsible for enforcing Department of Transportation rules and regulations.
The regulations outlined in CFR Title 49 are intended to ensure that drivers and companies safely operate commericial motor vehicles on public roads and highways.
If there is a breach of DOT compliance, the result may be written warnings, stiff fines and penalties, suspension of a company’s ability to operate and even jail time-depending on the severity of the violation(s).
Here are some examples of DOT violations and the resulting fines that have been levied against transportation companies:
- Part 382.301(a) is violated when a motor carrier allows a driver to operate a CMV or perform other “safety sensitive functions” before either (a) the driver passes a pre-employment drug test or (b) there is evidence to show that he/she was recently tested. Top settlement was over $25,000, the average settlement is almost $3,000.
- Part 382.115 is violated when a motor carrier fails to implement a DOT drug and alcohol-testing program for its drivers. Top settlement was over $5,000, the average settlement is over $2,000.
- Part 382.305 is violated when a motor carrier fails to implement a random drug and alcohol-testing program for its drivers. Top settlement was over $8,000, the average settlement is over $2,000.
- Part 395.8(e) is violated when a driver fails to complete a record of duty status (using a log book or automated recorder); a driver or motor carrier fails to keep or file a record of duty status; or a driver or motor carrier makes a false statement concerning record of duty status. Top settlement was over $135,000, the average settlement is over $8,000.
- Part 395.3(a)(2) is violated when a driver operates a property-carrying CMV after the end of the 14th hour after coming on duty. Top settlement was over $115,000, the average settlement is over $7,000.
- Part 172.800(b) is violated when a company (shipper, motor carrier, etc.) fails to develop or follow a hazardous materials security plan. Top settlement was over $17,000, the average settlement is almost $4,000
Top FMCSR Violations
Click the links below for various violations and penalties