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FMCSA issues anti-coercion rule

Protects CMV drivers from being forced to violate regulations

Posted December 1, 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on November 27, 2015, the publication of a final rule to help further safeguard commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations. The rule provides FMCSA with the authority to take enforcement action against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.

The rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion:

  • Procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA,
  • Actions the FMCSA could take in response to incident reports, and
  • Penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

In formulating this Rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate federal safety regulations with implicit or explicit threats of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations. Some of the regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included:

  • Hours-of-service (HOS) limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving,
  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements,
  • Drug and alcohol testing,
  • Transportation of hazardous materials, and
  • Commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

The rule is effective January 29, 2016. Click here to view it.


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