FMCSA Issues Final Rule to Stop Driver Coercion

The rule is intended to protect truck and bus drivers from being forced by their employers or others to violate hours of service or safety regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is publishing a final rule intended to help protect commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations, according to its news release. The rule gives FMCSA the authority to take action against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.

"Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, adding that the rule "enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public."

The rule covers three main areas: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report coercion, steps the agency could take when responding, and penalties that could be imposed on entities.

'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 Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road."

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