16 Red Flag Compliance Violations That Could Trigger an Investigation

November 22, 2016 Comments Off on 16 Red Flag Compliance Violations That Could Trigger an Investigation

Everyone has heard the phrase “That’s a red flag.” It usually means one thing: Avoid at all costs! Red flags in the trucking industry include sixteen CSA violations. While all violations should be avoided, these severe violations each carry a full 10 points assigned to the offending driver’s personal commercial driving record and the related carrier’s SMS data.

Current CSA red flag violations:

 BASIC  FMCSR Part  Violation Description
 Driver Fitness  383.21 Operating a commercial vehicle (CMV) with more than one driver’s license
 Driver Fitness  383.23(a)(2) Operating a CMV without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
 Driver Fitness  383.51(a) Driving a CMV while disqualified
 Driver Fitness  383.51A-SIN Driving a CMV while CDL is suspended for a safety-related or unknown reason and in the state of driver’s license issuance
 Driver Fitness  383.51A-SOUT Driving a CMV while CDL is suspended for safety-related or unknown reason and outside the driver’s license state of issuance.
 Driver Fitness  383.91(a) Operating a CMV with improper CDL group
 Driver Fitness  391.11 Unqualified driver
 Driver Fitness  391.11(b)(5) Driver lacking valid license for type of vehicle being operated
Driver Fitness 391.11(b)(7) Driver disqualified from operating CMV
Driver Fitness 391.15(a) Driving a CMV while disqualified
Driver Fitness 391.15A-SIN Driving a CMV while disqualified. Suspended for safety-related or unknown reason and in the state of driver’s license issuance
Driver Fitness 391.15A-SOUT Driving a CMV while disqualified. Suspended for safety-related or unknown reason and outside the driver’s license issuance state
Controlled Substances/Alcohol 392.4(a) Driver uses or is in possession of drugs
Controlled Substances/Alcohol 392.5(a) Possession/use/under influence of alcohol less than 4 hours prior to duty
Fatigued Driving (HOS) 395.13(d) Driving after being declared out-of-service (OOS)
Vehicle Maintenance 396.9 (c)(2) Operating in an OOS vehicle

Not surprisingly, twelve of the sixteen “red flags” are directly related to the Driver Fitness BASIC. The Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) outlines qualifications and experience required to drive a commercial motor vehicle. For the most part, the related red flags show a blatant disregard for safety regulations or negligence exhibited by both the driver and carrier.

For carriers, having points assigned to their SMS profile is irreversible without a Request for Data Review (RDR). Even after the driver leaves employment with a carrier, the points assigned for the violation stay attached to the carrier’s SMS profile for two years.

For drivers, finding employment after receiving a red flag violation on their driving record can be difficult. Many carriers view violations as a warning signal and deny applicants on that basis.

Avoid the stress of a red flag violation by making sure you don’t get one. Build and maintain a safety culture within your company to educate drivers, dispatchers, maintenance crew, and materials handlers. Make sure each knows his or her role in safety compliance and the governing regulations. Review your personal and company driving data regularly for any red flag violations impacting your ratings (SMS data is updated monthly). If there are violations, correct them immediately and put a plan in place for avoiding the same mistakes in the future. Before you hire a driver, request permission to review their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record. Confirm that drivers consistently operate equipment in a safe manner and that their performance will not reflect poorly on your company.

For more information on these, and other safety compliance regulations, visit the FMCSA web site.

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