GAO Faults FMCSA on Trucking Fines

Report Says Maximum Penalties Seldom Levied
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

Trucking regulators do not always use the maximum fines on trucking companies found with serious safety violations, according to the Government Accountability Office, Bloomberg reported.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is required to set “maximum fines” against truckers with a second major violation, instead of waiting for a third as it does now, according to the GAO report, Bloomberg said.

FMCSA “does not assess maximum fines against all of the serious violators that we believe the law requires,” GAO wrote in the report, which was requested by House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.).

“I am deeply troubled by the GAO findings regarding FMCSA’s practice of assessing fines to motor carriers that repeatedly violate critical motor-carrier safety statutes,” Oberstar wrote in a letter to FMCSA Administrator John Hill, Bloomberg reported.

Hill met with the GAO’s inspector general in June to discuss trucking safety, Bloomberg said.

FMCSA agreed to change its policy to address the findings of the report, Hill said through an FMCSA spokeswoman, Bloomberg reported.

House and Senate lawmakers have been critical of the Bush administration recently, with the Senate voting last week to restrict Mexican trucks’ access to U.S. roadways, following a similar House vote in July.

(Click here for previous coverage.)