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Critical vs. Acute: Understanding the Two Types of Carrier Violations
3 mins read

During Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety reviews, auditors are looking for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). All violations are classified as either Acute or Critical. Acute violations, as defined by FMCSA, are so severe that they require immediate corrective action. Failing to implement an alcohol and/or controlled substances testing program is an example of an Acute violation. Meanwhile, FMCSA views a Critical violation as a sign of poor safety control management. Failing to require a driver to make a record of duty status is an example of a Critical violation.

The tables below, which list the top 10 Critical and Acute violations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, provide a snapshot of the most commonly cited carrier violations. Reviewing these tables closely will help you learn from the mistakes of other carriers, and give you the opportunity to correct potential compliance issues before they are discovered during an audit or other safety review. We’ve included the violation code and description so that you can look up the applicable regulation in the most recent quarterly edition of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Book or online at FMCSA’s website.

Top 10 Acute Violations for FY2009

Violation Code Violation Description
1 382.115A Failing to Implement an Alcohol and/or Drug Testing Program
2 382.305 Failing to Implement Random Controlled Substance or Alcohol Testing Program
3 387.7A Inadequate or No Financial Responsibility
4 172.880B Transporting Hazardous Materials Without a Security Plan
5 383.37A Allowing Driver to Operate with Suspended/Revoked/etc. CDL
6 382.215 Using a Driver Who Has Tested Positive for a Drug
7 391.11A Using an Unqualified Driver
8 391.11B41 Using a Physically Unqualified Driver
9 390.35 Requiring, Permitting or Making False Statements or Records
10 387.31A Bus – Inadequate or No Financial Responsibility

Top 10 Critical Violations for FY2009

Violation Code Violation Description
1 396.11A Failing to Require Driver to Prepare Vehicle Inspection Report
2 395.8A No Drivers Record of Duty Status
3 382.301A Using a Driver Before Receiving a Pre-Employment Result
4 391.51B2 Inquiries into Employment Record Not Kept in Diver Qualification File
5 396.17A Using a CMV not Periodically Inspected
6 395.8E False Report of Drivers Record of Duty Status
7 395.8K1 Retention of Driver’s Record of Duty Status
8 382.305B2 Failing to Do Random Drug Tests at Applicable Annual Rate
9 396.3B Failing to Keep Minimum Records of Inspection and Maintenance
10 395.81 Failing to Submit Record of Duty Status within 13 day
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