December 22, 2015 | Industry Insights

Final FMCSA Rule Takes Action to Stop Coercion of Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Share This:

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its final rule on regulations that prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in violation of certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). In addition, the rule prohibits anyone who operates a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce from coercing a driver to violate the commercial regulations.

The rule also includes procedures for drivers to report an incident of coercion and establishes rules of practice for the FMCSA to follow in response to reports of coercion. Moreover, the rule describes the penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers: Violations may result in civil penalties of up to $16,000 per offense.

“Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public.”

According to the FMCSA, some of the regulations drivers have reported as being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, drug and alcohol testing, the transportation of hazardous materials, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

Common threats against drivers have included loss of a job, denial of subsequent loads, reduced payment and denied access to the best trips, FMCSA said. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that 253 whistle-blower complaints from commercial vehicle drivers had merit during the period 2009-2012. In addition, during the same period, FMCSA validated 20 allegations of motor carrier coercion of drivers that were filed with the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General — an average of more than 68 acts of coercion per year during the four-year period.

To avoid potentially violating the rule, entities should ensure that they have appropriate policies and procedures in place for managing communications with drivers. For example, in an information sheet published with the new rule, FMCSA recommends that drivers provide any written exchange, including text messages and emails, reflecting an alleged request to violate a regulation.

Roanoke Trade specializes in providing insurance and risk management solutions to logistic service providers and transportation intermediaries. For more information about our products and services, give us a call at 1-800-ROANOKE (800-762-6653)

Sources:  FMCSA, Transport Topics, JD Supra




Share This:


Roanoke Insurance Group Launches New Website!

Roanoke Insurance Group, your partner in insurance, surety bonds, ATA Carnet products and specialty services for the logistics and trade industries, has a new look and improved online performance! We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! The goal of the new site is to create an improved experience for our visitors […]

Industry Insights

How Vulnerable is Your Company to an Attack by Cyber Criminals?

As featured in Forward Magazine At the AirCargo 2022 conference, a question was posed to the audience: Who has cyber insurance? Only 20% of the audience raised their hands! This is concerning because cyber-related crime is at an all-time high and still growing fast. The current data around cybercrime is alarming. By April of 2021, […]

Cyber Security, Industry Insights

New Report by BSI Global Intelligence Outlines Leading Causes of Increased Theft

Increased Prices of Fuel, Agricultural Products, and Other Goods are Leading to Increased Theft In partnership with Roanoke, BSI’s Global Intelligence Analysts have provided a high-level outlook on the top supply chain risks expected in upcoming months, based on data and trends from the first three quarters of 2022. BSI’s data shows that thieves globally […]

Industry Insights

Sign up for our latest articles and events.

Roanoke is the leading provider of insurance and surety solutions for transportation and logistics providers. In fact, we are recognized as the most reliable source for U.S. customs bonds.


If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact with our team.



1501 E. Woodfield Road

Suite 400W

Schaumburg, IL 60173


390 Bay Street

Munich Re Centre, 22nd Floor

Toronto, ON M5H 2Y2

Solutions that Go the Distance.

© 2021 Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. A Munich Re company

Better Business Bureau logoCoverholder at Lloyd's logo