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Semi-truck Violations and PenaltiesSemi-trucks and other commercial vehicles require special licenses, inspections, training and compliance with other safety laws in order to be operable on Washington roadways. The applicable laws help protect the public from hazards and threats that the commercial vehicles pose, such as a motor vehicle accident with a hazardous semi-truck.  These vehicles must undergo routine inspections. Failure of an inspection may result in the vehicle being deemed out of service.  Violation of out-of-service orders for commercial vehicles by the owner, operator, or other employees of a commercial vehicle company can result in monetary penalties, revocation of commercial licenses, and or other penalties under Washington Law.   The applicable fines can be found in RCW 46.32.100 below.

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Washington Law for violation of an out-of-service order for a commercial vehicle is as follows: 

RCW 46.32.100: Semi-truck Violations and Penalties

(1)(a) In addition to all other penalties provided by law, and except as provided otherwise in (a)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this subsection, a commercial motor vehicle that is subject to compliance reviews under this chapter and an officer, agent, or employee of a company operating a commercial motor vehicle who violates or who procures, aids, or abets in the violation of this title or any order or rule of the state patrol is liable for a penalty of one hundred dollars for each violation.

(i) It is a violation of this chapter for a person operating a commercial motor vehicle to fail to comply with the requirements of 49 C.F.R. Pt. 382, controlled substances and alcohol use and testing, 49 C.F.R. Sec. 391.15, disqualification of drivers, and 49 C.F.R. Sec. 396.9(c)(2), moving a vehicle placed out of service before the out of service defects have been satisfactorily repaired. For each violation, the person is liable for a penalty of five hundred dollars.

(ii) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order is liable for a penalty of at least two thousand five hundred dollars for a first violation, and not less than five thousand dollars for a second or subsequent violation.

(iii) An employer who allows the operation of a commercial motor vehicle when there is an out-of-service order is liable for a penalty of at least two thousand seven hundred fifty dollars but not more than twenty-five thousand dollars for each violation.

(iv) Each violation under this subsection (1)(a) is a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a continuing violation, every day’s continuance is a separate and distinct violation.

(b) In addition to all other penalties provided by law, any motor carrier, company, or any officer or agent of a motor carrier or company operating a commercial motor vehicle subject to compliance reviews under this chapter who refuses entry or to make the required records, documents, and vehicles available to a duly authorized agent of the state patrol is liable for a penalty of at least five thousand dollars as well as an out-of-service order being placed on the department of transportation number, as defined in RCW 46.16A.010, and vehicle registration to operate. Each violation is a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a continuing violation, every day’s continuance is a separate and distinct violation.

(c) A motor carrier operating a commercial motor vehicle after receiving a final unsatisfactory rating or being placed out of service is liable for a penalty of not more than eleven thousand dollars for each violation. Each violation is a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a continuing violation, every day’s continuance is a separate and distinct violation.

(d) A high-risk carrier is liable for double the amount of the penalty of a prior violation if the high-risk carrier repeats the same violation during a follow-up compliance review. Each repeat violation is a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a repeat continuing violation every day’s continuance is a separate and distinct violation.

(2) The Washington state patrol may place an out-of-service order on a department of transportation number, as defined in RCW 46.16A.010, for violations of this chapter or for nonpayment of any monetary penalties assessed by the state patrol or the utilities and transportation commission, as a result of compliance reviews, or for violations of cease and desist orders issued by the utilities and transportation commission. The state patrol shall notify the department of licensing when an out-of-service order has been placed on a motor carrier’s department of transportation number. The state patrol shall notify the motor carrier when there has been an out-of-service order placed on the motor carrier’s department of transportation number and the vehicle registrations have been revoked by sending a notice by first-class mail using the last known address for the registered or legal owner or owners and recording the transmittal on an affidavit of first-class mail. Notices under this section fulfill the requirements of RCW 46.12.550. Motor carriers may not be eligible for a new department of transportation number, vehicle registration, or temporary permits to operate unless the violations that resulted in the out-of-service order have been corrected. The Washington state patrol or other law enforcement agency must confiscate and may recycle or destroy the license plates from a motor carrier who operates a commercial motor vehicle while the vehicle registration is revoked, suspended, or canceled. The confiscation of license plates under this subsection only applies to trucks, truck tractors, and tractors.

(3) Any penalty provided in this section is due and payable when the person incurring it receives a notice in writing from the state patrol describing the violation and advising the person that the penalty is due.

(a)(i) Any motor carrier who incurs a penalty as provided in this section, except for a high-risk carrier that incurs a penalty for a repeat violation during a follow-up compliance review, may, upon written application, request that the state patrol mitigate the penalty. An application for mitigation must be received by the state patrol within twenty days of the receipt of notice.

(ii) The state patrol may decline to consider any application for mitigation.

(b) Any motor carrier who incurs a penalty as provided in this section has a right to an administrative hearing under chapter 34.05 RCW to contest the violation or the penalty imposed, or both. In all such hearings, the procedure and rules of evidence are as specified in chapter 34.05 RCW except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Any request for an administrative hearing must be made in writing and must be received by the state patrol within twenty days after the later of (i) receipt of the notice imposing the penalty, or (ii) disposition of a request for mitigation, or the right to a hearing is waived.

(c) All penalties recovered under this section shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the state patrol highway account of the motor vehicle fund.

 

 

 

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