Driver Coercion Rule Published
The U. S. Department of Transportation published the Final Rule on Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers on November 30th. It will take effect on January 29, 2016. The rule will prohibit “motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in violation of certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs.)” The ruling defines coercion as “a threat … to withhold business, employment or work opportunities from or to take or permit any adverse employment action against a driver” in order to get them to violate FMCSA safety regulations.
New fines have been put in place for those who pressure truck drivers to run contrary to the rules. Fees up to $16,000 may be imposed on any person or entity who attempts to force drivers to violate federal safety directives, such as compelling them to drive when they are out of hours.
In addition, the new rule includes procedures for drivers to report coercion incidents, and the Agency has established guidelines it must follow in response to them. Drivers must file their complaints within ninety days of an alleged occurrence and include any supporting evidence they have. For more information, please go to: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2015-30237.
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