Rule to protect drivers against coercion publishes Monday

Updated Nov 30, 2015
New rule protects drivers from being forced to violate federal regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today said a Final Rule to protect truck and bus drivers from being forced to violate federal safety regulations will be published in the Federal Register Monday, Nov. 30. The new regulation takes effect in 60 days afterwards.

The rule, according to the FMCSA, creates:

  • procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the agency,
  • steps FNCSA could take when responding to such allegations
  • penalties that may be imposed on those found to have coerced drivers.

The rule also provides FMCSA with the authority to take action against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and what it calls “transportation intermediaries.”

For details about what FMCSA considers coercion and how to file a complaint, visit: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion

In statement released today, the agency said it has heard from drivers who said they had been pressured to violate safety regulations with threats of being fired, loss of future trips or loads, reduced pay and loss of favorable work hours.

The FMCSA also said drivers reported being coerced into violating numerous regulations, including:

  • hours-of-service limits
  • CDL requirements
  • drug and alcohol tests
  • transporting hazardous materials

“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 in the agency’s statement on the rule.  “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”