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Top 10 DOT Violations

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 5 p.m.


Written below are the top 10 DOT violations that drivers and carriers commit year after year. If you have any questions about preventing these violations, do not hesitate to contact our organization. We are standing by to assist you. Visit also DOT Authority Package.

Operating a CMV Without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) is illegal and can have serious consequences. Driving without a CDL can result in fines and even jail time for the driver. Additionally, employers of drivers who do not possess valid CDL may also face civil or criminal penalties. Visit Driver Qualification Files.

In addition to facing legal repercussions, driving without a CDL also puts everyone on the road at risk. Without proper training and experience, an unqualified driver may be unable to safely handle the size and weight of the CMV they are operating, leading to an increased risk of accidents involving other vehicles or pedestrians. Visit Starting a Trucking Company Package .

Electronic Logging Device (ELD): No Record of Duty Status (RODS)

ELDs are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This device tracks and monitors a driver's service hours and other RODS requirements. The ELD must be installed in the vehicle, and records must be stored for at least 6 months. You must visit the website link.

Drivers must use the ELD to accurately document their commercial vehicle activities, including picking up and delivering cargo, driving on public roads, or taking meals and rest breaks. By using an ELD, drivers will have more accurate and detailed records of their activities, which can help ensure compliance with regulations and prevent violations. Additionally, the data collected can be used to improve safety and efficiency by identifying areas where improvements need to be made. Visit DOT Audit.

False Report of Driver’s RODS

False reporting of a driver's Record of Duty Status (RODS) severely violates federal regulations. It can result in harsh civil and criminal penalties, including fines, imprisonment, or both. Furthermore, breaches of RODS requirements can impact everyone's safety on the road.

When drivers falsify their RODS records, they lie about how long they have been driving and how many hours they have worked. This prevents employers from accurately monitoring the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel and placing others at risk due to fatigue-related accidents or other risks associated with working too many hours without rest. Trust us. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

No RODS When One’s Required (ELD Not Required)

If a driver doesn't have an ELD, but is still required to keep Records of Duty Status (RODS), they must use paper log books. Drivers should ensure they know their hours-of-service requirements and follow them carefully when filing out and maintaining their RODS. Failing to adhere to hours-of-service requirements can result in fines, suspensions, or other penalties. Also, visit the website link.

Drivers must also ensure that the information in the logbook is accurate and current. Penalties for inaccurate logs can be even more severe than those related to hours-of-service violations. Drivers need to understand the rules before hitting the road so that they don't inadvertently break any laws or regulations.

No Driver’s RODS When One Is Required

Not having a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) when one is required can be a severe violation. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers must have an up-to-date RODS for each work day. A RODS is required for any commercial motor vehicle that carries property or passengers across state lines and any truck weighing over 10,000 pounds. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

Keeping accurate records helps ensure the safety of those on the road and helps to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Some states may also require additional records beyond what federal law mandates. Failing to keep proper records or not having them available when they are requested could result in penalties such as fines, warnings, and license suspensions. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

Driver Fails To Retain Previous Seven Days’ RODS

Drivers should make sure to retain their previous seven days’ Records of Duty Status in case they are asked to provide them. Keeping track of your RODS is an essential part of being a commercial driver and can save you from potential penalties and fines if you ever get pulled over or audited by law enforcement. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

To ensure that you have all the necessary records, taking some simple steps when tracking your RODS is essential. Make sure that you always fill out your logbooks wholly and accurately. You should include details such as:

  • date
  • time
  • location
  • total hours on duty
  • type of driving performed (city/town, state/county highway, etc.)

Driver Doesn’t Have a Valid Operators License for the CMV in Operation

Driving without a valid operator’s license for the CMV being operated is strictly prohibited. The vehicle's driver must be appropriately licensed and certified to operate the commercial motor vehicle at all times. Failure to do so can result in severe consequences, including fines, suspension of driving privileges, or even criminal charges, depending on the nature of the violation. What is the DOT SAP Program?

It is essential to follow all applicable laws and regulations when operating a commercial motor vehicle and ensure that any drivers operating such vehicles are adequately trained and appropriately certified. Doing so will help ensure safety on the roads as well as compliance with state and federal regulations. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

The Driver Is Not Physically Qualified

Driving is a responsibility shared by all who get behind the wheel. The DOT outlines qualifications for drivers to ensure that only those who are capable of safely transporting goods and passengers take on this role. One essential requirement is that all drivers must be physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle by 49 CFR 391.41-49, which prohibits any driver from using a commercial motor vehicle while suffering from specific impairments or physical conditions—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

Any driver found to be violating this provision will be subject to civil penalties and potential disqualification from driving until such time as they can prove that they have corrected the medical condition and are once again physically qualified according to federal regulations. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Driver Operating a CMV Without Proper Endorsements

Drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without the proper endorsements or violating restrictions is illegal and carries severe penalties. Depending on the circumstances, punishments can range anywhere from fines to license suspension and even prison time. Therefore, drivers need to understand and comply with all applicable laws and regulations when operating a CMV. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

To avoid any violations, drivers should always check their driver’s license to ensure they have the correct endorsements before beginning any journey. Drivers must also obey restrictions that may be placed on a CDL, such as hours-of-service rules or state or local laws about truck traffic. In addition, those operating CMVs with hazardous materials must comply with additional DOT and FMCSA requirements. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Operating a Property-Carrying Vehicle Without a Valid Medical Certificate

Operating a property-carrying vehicle without a valid medical certificate is an offense that can have serious consequences. According to the FMCSA, failure to possess and maintain a valid medical certificate while operating a property-carrying vehicle can result in civil or criminal penalties. The severity of these penalties may vary depending on state laws, but they could include fines, suspension of operating privileges, or even jail time. Also, visit the website link.

Drivers must also be aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to obtaining and maintaining a valid medical certificate. To stay compliant with federal regulations, drivers must obtain certification from an approved healthcare professional and submit it for review by the DOT. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

Ready To Prevent These DOT Violations? Contact Us!

If you want to prevent DOT violations and stay safe on the road, look no further than us! We have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you out. Don't let a minor mistake cause your business significant headaches - contact us today and prepare for worry-free trucking! With in your corner, you can rest easy knowing that all DOT regulations are being followed. Get in touch now and get ahead of the game! Trust us, it's worth it.

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