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Clean Truck Check Program, rest break exemptions and inflation-adjusted fines for 2024

California extends the registration deadline for trucks operating within its territory.

On Tuesday, December 26, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced an extension of the deadline for trucks to register in the state’s Clean Truck Check program, now set until January 31, 2024; originally, the deadline was December 31 of the current year.

This deadline pertains to registration in a state registry. Although there are currently no compliance regulations linked to the deadline, the state program’s regulation includes various emissions reporting requirements that will come into effect in 2024. The deadline also involves a registration fee of $30.

The Clean Truck Check program is primarily seen as an extension of the state’s Smog Check regulations, applying not only to trucks operating in California but to all trucks based in the state.

California has environmental regulations, non-compliance with which can result in substantial fines, as seen in cases like Capurro Trucking and Republic Services. Starting this year, the state regulation mandates that all vehicles subject to these regulations circulating within the state must have engines from the model year 2010 or equivalent in emissions.

The California Air Resources Board has scheduled an informative webinar on the Clean Truck Check regulations for Tuesday, January 9. Within the trucking sector, concerns have arisen as many truck owners affected by the regulations were unaware of the deadline.

En la imagen se muestra un edificio de gobierno con la bandera de Estados Unidos y California

The FMCSA will receive comments on the exemption from rest break prohibitions.

In August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allowed groups to request exemptions related to rest break restrictions in California and Washington.

In its announcement on December 26, the FMCSA mentioned having received exemption requests from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, California, and William B. Trescott. Both California and Washington have rest regulations stricter than federal ones, and the petitions seek to overturn the FMCSA’s previous decisions granting exemptions to these state rules.

After publication in the Federal Register, the FMCSA will open a 60-day comment period on the petitions. The agency seeks comments on whether the law would impact the following:

1. The health and safety of drivers.
2. The shortage of truck parking, resulting in more trucks parked on shoulders, posing additional risks to drivers and the public.
3. The dissuasion of carriers from operating in that state.
4. The national supply chain resilience being affected as a consequence of the law.

En la imagen se muestra un camionero descansando su cabeza en el volante de un camión

The FMCSA announces an upcoming increase in fine amounts based on inflation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a final rule scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, December 28, establishes its new amounts for civil penalties that will increase in 2024. New penalty amounts were also announced for other agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This law requires annual adjustments of civil penalties to preserve their deterrent impact, and the latest adjustment is determined by a formula that multiplies the previous amounts by the percentage change between the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers from October 2022 to October 2023. Examples include the penalty for falsifying records increasing from $14,960 to $15,445.

These new amounts apply only to violations occurring after the rule takes effect and do not impact sanctions already imposed or applied by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The complete list of new amounts for various agencies is already available.

The changes will take effect with the publication of the rule in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which specifies implementation through a final rule without the need for a comment period.

En la imagen se muestra una mano colocando una multa en el parabrisas de un auto
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