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FMCSA shuts down bus, trucking operations for disregarding safety regulations

Thus far in 2014, FMCSA has declared five passenger carriers, two property carriers, and four commercial drivers to be imminent hazards to the public, prohibiting them from conducting operations in interstate commerce.

The Trucker News Services

3/19/2014

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has ordered the immediate shut-down of four motor carriers, each for disregarding federal safety regulations and putting their companies’ own drivers, passengers and the public at risk.

“Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to ensuring that bus and truck companies comply with federal safety regulations to help protect the motoring public,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Companies that are unwilling to meet their safety obligations will not be allowed to operate on our highways and roads.”

The two passenger carriers ordered shut-down by FMCSA are:

• Woodburn’s Tour and Travel, LLC, doing business as Woodburn’s Motor Coach, USDOT No. 2181163, of East Point, Ga.  Federal investigators found that Woodburn’s fleet of 11 motor coaches did not meet minimum safety standards as the company failed to systematically and properly inspect, repair or maintain the vehicles.  Investigators also found that the company’s owners failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations.  Drivers were employed before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law.  The company failed to require its drivers to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation, such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued March 7, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/WoodburnsMotorCoach.pdf.

• Motts Transportation, Inc., USDOT No. 828452, of Cordesville, S.C.  Federal investigators found that this passenger carrier and the company owner, Jerome Carter, Sr., failed to monitor drivers and failed to ensure that vehicles were systematically and properly inspected, repaired, and maintained.  The company failed to require its drivers to comply with federal limitations on driving and on-duty requirements.  In at least one instance, an unqualified individual was allowed to operate a motorcoach. 

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued February 10, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/MottsTransportation.pdf.

The two trucking operations ordered shut-down by FMCSA are:

• GEG Construction, Inc., USDOT No. 1503585, of Indian Orchard, Mass.  Federal investigators found that the motor carrier and company owner, Gil Gomes, failed to ensure that vehicles were systematically and properly inspected, repaired and maintained, and operated vehicles in an out-of-service condition.  The company employed drivers before they received negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law.  In one instance, a driver without a valid commercial driver’s license was allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. 

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued March 11, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/GEGConstruction.pdf.

• Allen Quandahl, LLC, USDOT No. 1964143, of Waukon, Iowa.  Federal investigators found that Allen Quandahl, LLC, failed to ensure that its vehicles were properly inspected, repaired, and maintained, resulting in systemic accidents.  The carrier failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations.  The company employed drivers before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law.  Drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts.  In one instance, a driver without a valid commercial driver’s license was allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. 

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued February 25, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/AllenQuandahl.pdf.

“Unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers, and companies put innocent lives in jeopardy,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.  “FMCSA inspectors and investigators will not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the public from needless exposure to harm.”

Thus far in 2014, FMCSA has declared five passenger carriers, two property carriers, and four commercial drivers to be imminent hazards to the public, prohibiting them from conducting operations in interstate commerce.

As part of FMCSA’s work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company’s safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel.  The app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” webpage at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.

Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA’s multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/lookbeforeyoubook.

FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle, or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA’s consumer complaint web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.

Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card.  For more information, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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