The government attempts to regulate trucking and help in accident prevention within the transportation sector. Truck companies are required to comply with DOT regulations to avoid transportation hazards. That’s why truckers need to know what DOT Compliance entails. Here’s everything you need to know about DOT Compliance.
What is DOT Compliance?
DOT refers to the Department of Transportation. It’s a body governed by rules and regulations for commercial drivers. The drivers need to meet the set standards. This includes driving the vehicles by a particular person within the specified areas and when to drive. The purpose of the rules is to help the driver stay safe on the road. Even if you don’t see the need to follow the rules, you have to follow them.
Consequences of DOT Non-Compliance
According to FMCSA, DOT non-compliance can lead to unpleasant consequences. Below are the main devastating effects of failing to comply with the DOT regulations.
Fines and Financial Penalties
Companies that fail to comply with the DOT standards can get a fine of thousands of dollars. The fine can go way above $170,000 for a minor breach. Some of the common financial penalties include the following:
• Non-recordkeeping breach penalties are over $14,000.
• Failure to keep a record by driver penalties go up to $3,626.
• Alcohol prohibition breach as a first offense that can go up to $2,900.
• Alcohol prohibition offense as a second offense goes above $5,900.
• Out-of-service order breach penalties are over $22,500.
Injury or Death
Injury or death related cases as a result of DOT non-compliance carry the highest degree of harsh penalties. FMCSA refers to this kind of offense as an imminent hazard. It’s the term that refers to the ignorance of safety rules that could cause injury or death if not stopped.
Immediate Suspension or Revocation of the Operator
FMCSA can revoke, suspend, or change the operator’s registration under circumstances where the operator disregards the rules. This applies to severe cases. But things such as sporadic, isolated, or inadvertent are not considered severe. When a business loses the right to operate, it can face adverse long-term financial effects. However, the operator can respond with a Corrective Action Plan after the revocation proposal.
A Damaged Reputation of the Industry
Repeated DOT violations are the primary cause of a damaged reputation for the industry. In short, a single minor occurrence can lead to long-term damages that can create a negative impact on the industry because it makes clients concerned about your business’s best practices and cargo safety. Your company may also miss out on the industry’s best candidates since they’ll only go for an employer with a faultless DOT compliance record.
How to Achieve DOT Compliance
DOT Compliance entails a lot of details, and it requires attention to detail. This is a vital factor that determines the success and reputation of transportation companies and people in the vehicle industry.
Achieving DOT Compliance begins by ensuring that you keep accurate records and maintain the DOT rules. Some companies opt for a digital inspection platform that enables the driver to quickly and accurately send their inspection reports.
Remember, the regulations can change a bit. Meaning, you need to know what is expected from each record. For the best outcome, look out for the little details to help you become a compliance expert within a short time.
However, you need to know what to look out for.
The DOT manual can be cumbersome to peruse through, and that’s why it’s better to have a summary of the essential information. You can then go back to the manual and check for what you want. Having a summary of the requirements helps you keep separate different drive paperwork in separate folders.