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Federal Violation Fines Increased by DOT

Last week, the Department of Transportation has issued an updated set of civil penalties for failing to abide by regulations such as those enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The adjusted fines aim to deter trucking companies from disregarding industry and safety audits.

DOT federally mandated fines have been adjusted in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. A new rule published last week implemented these updates, which are made to account for inflation and will be revised annually from here on out. The adjustments provide an important safeguard against devaluing monetary penalties over time.

To find the 2023 adjustment amount, the DOT multiplied the previous penalty amount by the percentage change between the October 2022 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumer (CPI-U) and the October 2021 CPI-U, which was 1.07745 for that period. Given this multiplier, all the fine amounts were increased.

It was noted by the DOT that penalty adjustments made by the new rule will only apply to violations that take place after the rule took effect and that it does not change previously assessed or enforced penalties that the DOT has collected or is actively collecting.