Ignorance Is Still No Excuse
Did you know?
We have all heard the saying “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Well, that applies to the DOT HOS laws as well, only more so; see in the world of DOT, your ignorance of your driver’s violations is no excuse. You can be fined for not knowing that those drivers have been convicted of HOS violations as well as the other more obvious issues such as the following: expired CDL’s, prior failed drug tests, driving without proper endorsements, etc. In other words, Ignorance is negligence, when it comes to how the DOT views the motor carrier.
This is the exact wording from the FMCSR:
“The carrier is liable for violations of the hours of service regulations if it had or should have had the means by which to detect the violations." Meaning, liability under the FMCSR’s does not depend upon actual knowledge of the violations (Italics mine).
“Carriers are liable for the actions of their employees. Neither intent to commit nor actual knowledge of a violation is a necessary element of that liability. Carriers “permit” violations of the hours of service regulations by their employees if they fail to have in place management systems that effectively prevent such violations.”
Questions to Ask
• "Does your company reward compliant behavior?"
• "Will my management team ask drivers to stretch their HOS?"
• "Do my drivers know that I put safety & compliance over profit?"
So what is at risk by not having effective management plans?
Client confidence? Safe, qualified drivers? Fines that range from a minimum of $2750 to $25,000 per occurrence? Possible criminal penalties may be added to these as well, not to mention if your driver is involved in an accident.
Are you comfortable and confident with your management plans? Don't have time for research? Not Sure? Give us a call and make sure!
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