The Department of Transportation today published a final rule updating the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed for violations of certain DOT regulations, including Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations focused on trucking-company audits.
DOT is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 to adjust fine amounts each year based on inflation.
A final rule published today in the Federal Register makes the new fine amounts effective immediately. The 2015 Act required FMCSA and other DOT agencies to issue an initial “catch-up” adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation.
The DOT, to find the 2023 adjustment amount, had to multiply the previous penalty amount by the percentage change between the October 2022 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the October 2021 CPI-U, which for that period was 1.07745. Given this multiplier, all of the fine amounts increased.
The DOT noted that the penalty adjustments made by the rule will apply only to violations that take place after the rule takes effect, adding that the rule doesn’t change previously assessed or enforced penalties that DOT is actively collecting or has collected.