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False Log Book Violation Points


False log book violation points apply to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Hours of Service Rules. These rules apply to most commercial vehicle drivers. The FMSCA briefly overviews the HOS Rules; we discuss them further here. Unfortunately, hours of service violations are common among commercial drivers, and they often result in traffic citations. An officer can identify any violation by looking at the driver's logbook. Written below are common log book violations that you must avoid. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What Is a Log Book Violation?

If a driver is nearing their hours-of-service limit, they may be tempted to fudge their logbooks to keep going. However, this violates FMCSA regulations outlined in 49 CFR 395.8(e)(1). Digital logbooks (using ELD devices) and paper logbooks must accurately report the hours-of-service rules drivers must abide by. Falsifying either type of logbook can result in severe consequences. What is the DOT SAP Program?

It is critical to note that if carriers withhold any supporting documents during a DOT audit, it carries the same weight as having a false log. Non-compliant carriers may think they can cover up evidence of hours of service violations by hiding information, but inspectors know precisely what to search for. Despite this, it's sometimes possible that an erroneous logbook entry was made in good faith. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

How Do Drivers Try to Falsify Their Logs?

In a world where the ELD is now the standard, cheating the system has become more complex. But there are still creative ways that drivers try to work around hours-of-service rules. For example, some truckers may keep two logbooks. One can be the clean version for the DOT” and another with altered information for the company.” The latter will feature unrealistic time frames for the completion of trips or mismatched team logs.

Other methods range from tampering with odometer readings to fluffing numbers. In either case, falsifying logbook data is dishonest and illegal. Employers should stay vigilant in monitoring their fleet's activity to prevent any potential violations of laws or regulations.

Log Book Violation: Not Having a Logbook

Drivers who must keep a logbook but fail to do so may be subject to the No Logbook violation. It is an offense outlined in FMCSA policy 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1). This violation carries severe consequences and could lead to costly fines or suspensions. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

Log Book Violation: No ELD (Electronic Logging Device)

For most drivers required to record their duty status under FMCSA 49 CFR 395.8(a), a no ELD” violation is the same as not having a logbook. According to FMCSA policy, these drivers must use an electronic logging device (ELD). Failure to do so could result in a citation. To avoid this penalty, ensure you have an appropriate ELD and always use it correctly.

Drivers who are eligible for short-haul exceptions do not need to use ELDs and may continue keeping timecards. Also, drivers can still maintain paper logs over 8 days in every 30-day cycle. These FMCSA exemptions also cover those performing drive-away-tow-away operations, with the vehicle being driven being part of the shipment delivery. Cars manufactured before 2000 are also exempted from utilizing ELDs. Visit the DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

Log Book Violation: Inaccurate or False Logbooks

A false logbook entry is a serious violation of federal regulations. There are two situations which may cause this to occur. The first is when a driver intentionally falsifies an entry in their logbook to make it appear that they comply with hours of service rules.

The second potential scenario is when the driver makes an innocent error but can provide documented evidence to show what should have been entered, and does not violate any hours of service rules. In either situation, if documentation supports the accurate info, the chances for a favorable outcome are better than with an intentional false entry. All incorrect logbook entries breach FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 395.8(e)(1)—importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

Log Book Violation: No Record of Duty Status

If a driver must maintain a logbook or an ELD, but has not recorded their duty status, they violate 49 CFR 395.8. This regulation requires drivers operating commercial motor vehicles to keep accurate records of their duty status. Investigators can't determine if the driver follows the hours-of-service rules without this data. Thus, drivers must ensure they accurately record all of their activities when required by law. Failure to do so could result in citations and fines—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

What Are the Consequences of Log Book Violations?

Individuals who operate or cause to be operated a commercial motor vehicle in violation of FMCSA logbook regulations, or who knowingly fail to comply with any provision of the law or its corresponding rules, may face criminal charges. By A.R.S. 28-5240, a first offense is classified as a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

A second offense is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, and any subsequent offenses are classified as Class 6 Felonies. These violations are taken seriously and may lead to penalties, including imprisonment and fines. Motor carriers, shippers, and manufacturers must ensure they always comply with state and federal regulations. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

For a first-time log book offense, which is classified as a class 2 misdemeanor, potential penalties include up to a $750 fine plus surcharges of $585, 4 months in jail, and probation. In reality, though, incarceration is unlikely, and fines are usually much less than the maximum allowed. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

Why Do Some Carriers & Drivers Use False Logbooks?

It all boils down to finances. Truckers are encouraged to drive as much as possible to make money for themselves or make shippers even more if the cargo is delivered ahead of schedule. This results in trucking companies setting unrealistic deadlines and piling on immense pressure on truckers to reach those goals, making falsifying logbooks a greater temptation. However, should they be caught with false logs, hefty fines await them. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Key Points: What Are the FMCSA Penalties for Using False Log Books?

  • Penalties for falsified log books under the FMCSA can range from warnings to civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
  • Drivers who are found guilty of falsifying their logbooks may face a license suspension or revocation.
  • Companies that require drivers to use false log books can be subject to fines and suspension or termination of operating authority. What is Unified Carrier Registration?
  • If multiple violations are discovered, additional criminal charges may be brought against individuals and companies.
  • Truckers and trucking companies must remember that the FMCSA takes falsification of records seriously and will not hesitate to impose stiff penalties on those who break the rules.
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