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Motor carriers pay millions of dollars in fines each year as a result of enforcement actions taken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The accompanying chart shows the total amount motor carriers paid in settlements with the agency following audits or investigations between 2017 and 2022.

The totals reflect a gradual decline in enforcement activities leading up to a rapid fall-off during the global pandemic of 2020-2021. The pandemic curtailed the FMCSA’s normal auditing practices, leading to a major increase in off-site audits and a resulting drop in fines. Since then, the agency has steadily increased its on-site audits, resulting in more violations being found and more penalties levied.