A new rule was recently published in the Federal Registry to protect drivers and penalize companies that try to coerce them into violating safety rules and regulations. The rule will
impose penalties on motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries who try to coerce drivers to violate rules
largely related to safety, and including:
- Drivers’ hours-of-service limits
- The commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations
- Drug and alcohol testing rules
- The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs)
“…the FMCSA definition of coercion prohibits threats by the aforementioned parties [motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries] to withhold future business from a driver for objecting to operate a vehicle in violation of safety regulations.” Logistics Management
Even though the rule gives reporting procedures to drivers to report such coercion, drivers should know they will not be let off the hook for violations of the rules whether or no coercion was involved.
In an industry where mistakes and fatigue can cost lives, we’re glad to see that steps are being taken to protect all drivers from having to deal with making those tough calls. At Barber Trucking, we always have and always will stress safety and compliance with regulations above all else, so we’re glad to hear that others along the distribution chain will have to comply as well.