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Feds measure trucking performance on point system

West Virginia truck accident attorneysTrucking performance is measured by the federal government on a point system to determine truck compliance, safety and accountability tracking where the lower the point total, the safer the freight.

“Five million truck and bus drivers share the road with more than 250 million motorists. With stakes so high, it’s essential that everyone ‘Get Road Smart,’” according to a fact sheet from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Under the Compliance, Safety and Accountability Points program, points are assessed after inspectors find violations. That means fleets want to have scores as low as possible, according to The Balance, a personal finance and business website.

Different violations prompt penalties of different point values. No specific score triggers action by the FMCSA in ensuring truck compliance, safety, accountability tracking, but the more points a trucking fleet amasses, the more likely the fleet is to face action.

Here are examples of points tied to violations in the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability Points program, for consideration in relation to truck compliance, safety, accountability tracking.

Driving violations

10 points for the following violations:

  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding over 15 mph or more over the speed limit
  • Speeding in construction zones
  • Driving after being declared out of service
  • Driver uses or is in possession of drugs
  • Violating an out-of-service order for improper alcohol use

On the upper end of the point scale, 8 points are issued for unqualified drivers, and 7 points are issued for speeding and adverse driving conditions violations.

On the lower end of the scale, violations such as failure to obey traffic control devices, following too closely, improper lane changing, improper passing, improper turns, failure to yield the right-of-way, and lacking physical qualifications can result in as much as five points.

Hours of service violations

Fleets can be issued 10 points for hours of service violations, such as operating while ill or fatigued.

In addition, seven points may be issued for violating state or local hours-of-service laws, 16-hour rule violations, requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle for over 11 hours, and 34-hour restart violations.

Mobile device violations

For mobile device violations, 10 points may be issued for using mobile phone while operating, carrier requiring or allowing driver to use mobile phone while operating, and texting while operating.

Paperwork violations

For paperwork violations, 8 points may be issued for the following:

  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with more than one driver's license
  • Operating a CMV without a commercial driver's license (CDL)
  • Operating a CMV with only a learner's permit
  • Operating a CMV with a disqualified CDL

Seven points may be issued for falsified logs and five points may be issued for having no record of duty status, having logs not current to most recent duty status, missing previous 7 days logs and driving while CDL is suspended for a non-safety-related reason and in the state of driver's license issuance.

Under the program, points are assessed anytime a violation occurs, so fleets want to have scores that are as low as possible.

For help with truck accidents, personal injury cases and other matters, contact Recht Law Offices in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania today.

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