Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that includes a provision that will impose stiff penalties on truck drivers and fleets that violate out-of-service rules.
Under the new law, trucking companies convicted of knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting or authorizing a driver to violate OOS status would face up to $25,000 fines. The maximum fine had been $11,000. Individual drivers will be fined $2,500 for a first-time violation and $5,000 each for any subsequent out-of-service violations, according to a report in Land Line magazine.
Also included in the bill is a lengthier suspension for drivers caught violating an OOS order. Getting behind the wheel of a truck subject to an OOS order would result in the driver’s license being suspended for six months. State law previously authorized 90-day suspensions.
Repeat offenses within 10 years would result in loss of driving privileges for two years – up from one year.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. leadership said that states have every incentive to make sure their rules mirror federal standards. Noncompliance by states could result in a 5% loss of federal highway aid, complete loss of all federal grants, and a $5,000-a-day fine.