The new rule in the U.S. prohibiting companies from pushing truck drivers to violate federal safety regulations takes effect Jan. 29.
The so-called “coercion rule” – officially knowns as the “Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers” rule – specifically forbids motor carriers, shippers, receivers, brokers or any other transportation intermediary from coercing CDL holders to violate certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
According to FMCSA, the final rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion:
- Procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to FMCSA
- Steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations
- Penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.
Heavy Duty Trucking reports that penalties can include fines of up to $16,000 for each offense.
“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel T.F. Scott Darling III.