DOT compliance should always be a top concern for any trucking company. DOT fines and penalties can be very costly, plus they could keep you off the road. This can chip away at your profits.
It is imperative that you have an in-depth understanding of DOT rules at all times. It’s even more urgent now as the Department of Transportation (DOT) has just increased the fines, effective in 2024.
Every motor carrier needs to be DOT compliant, and the best way to avoid making simple mistakes is with Simplex Group. We’re a leading provider of DOT compliance solutions to help you avoid DOT fines and penalties. Read on to explore the different types of DOT fines and penalties, how they could impact your business, and how Simplex Group can mitigate your risks now that fines have increased for 2024.
The Importance of DOT Compliance in Avoiding Fines and Penalties
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has rules to help make the trucking industry safer and more efficient. This is why DOT violations result in fines and penalties for companies failing to follow DOT rules.
Truck companies must comply for a variety of reasons.
Compliance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations helps prioritize the safety of everyone. Employers will reduce their risk of accidents and fatalities caused by driver fatigue, equipment failure, or drug or alcohol use.
DOT compliance also protects all truck drivers and other employees in trucking companies. Regulations help ensure drivers meet qualifications, follow hours of service requirements, and abide by regular drug and alcohol testing.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) also has regulations for transporting hazardous materials to prevent contamination of the environment. Abiding by these DOT rules is critical to ensure that proper handling, packaging, and disposal procedures are followed.
Transportation rules set by the DOT are consistent for all transportation companies. They ensure a set standard for all operations to allow for cooperation and coordination.
Any truck company or operator that fails to comply with the Department of Transportation (DOT) rules will face severe penalties. These include fines, and suspension of operating authority, which could mean you are unable to continue operations. Criminal charges from civil penalties are the most common. Staying compliant with the DOT helps you avoid these consequences.
Additionally, when you are following DOT regulations, you are building a strong reputation by following the best practices for the industry. Following these rules set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) also means you can quickly find any operational efficiencies, allowing you to make improvements that increase your productivity while saving on costs.
Common DOT Fines and Penalties, Including New Fees for 2024
The latest changes for DOT fines and penalties became effective at the end of December 2023. Penalties have increased, and while you may have always avoided violations, this increase can impact your bottom line.
There have always been severe penalties for failing safety inspections and recordkeeping violations. The hike in the cost of these penalties makes it even more critical for you to make sure you follow regular vehicle maintenance for your fleet and keep your driver file management up to date.
New fines were formulated in Washington by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. The percentage change in fees increased by 1.03%. Examples of recent changes in civil penalty amounts include an out-of-service order that requires or permits the operation of CMV by the driver, which increased from $22,324 to $23,048. Another out-of-service order for failure to return written certification of correction went from $1,116 to $1,152. Failing to keep up with recordkeeping had a maximum total penalty of $14,960 which has now increased to $15,445.
What Happens If You Don’t Comply with DOT Regulations?
If you fail any point of regulation set by the DOT agency, your company faces several actions:
Among the most common violations in the transportation business are civil penalties. These fines can be hundreds of dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars. It will depend on the number of violations as well as the frequency and severity of your non-compliance.
A motor carrier that is found to violate the safety regulations may be forced to cease operations until they resolve the issues. Known as out-of-service orders, you must immediately stop operations until you correct the problem. This can lead to loss of revenue and productivity for your business.
Suspension of Operating Authority
If the issue of noncompliance is severe or there are repeated violations, you may face a suspension or revocation of your operating authority. If any noncompliance is intentional, reckless, or known to the owners, motor carrier operators, and trucking businesses, criminal penalties may also be imposed.
How Simplex Group’s Expertise Can Help Businesses Avoid or Minimize Fines and Penalties
A company’s ability to meet the DOT requirements is imperative for it to thrive. The easiest way to comply and avoid harsh penalties and fines is by choosing Simplex Group. Learn about Simplex Group’s services for managing fines and penalties and continue reading to learn some tips for maintaining compliance.
Understand the Regulations
Any business owner or entity in trucking should learn the regulations that apply and make sure to follow them.
Implement Policies and Procedures
Develop and implement a system of policies, including written warnings for each rule that cover qualifications, maintenance, drug and alcohol testing, and hours of service. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all drivers meet their minimum qualifications, including having a valid CDL and passing a drug and alcohol test.
Record Keeping, Audits, and Monitoring
Keep accurate records and conduct regular audits and monitoring to prevent any resulting fines. This is much easier to do with ELDs.
If you’re not sure where to start for your LLC, Simplex Group can help with ELDs and other tools to help you stay compliant. For more information on DOT compliance, visit https://simplexgroup.net/dot-safety-compliance/.