The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Wisconsin-based truck company WTSA US Express to immediately cease all transportation services, based on serious safety violations that posed an imminent hazard to public safety.
FMCSA shut down WTSA US Express following an extensive review of the company's operations that discovered multiple federal safety violations in the areas of drivers' hours-of-service compliance, driver qualifications and drug testing requirements.
"Commercial truck and bus companies that blatantly violate federal safety standards and jeopardize public safety will be shut down. Safety is always our top priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
FMCSA immediately placed WTSA US Express out of service after agency investigators found a range of safety infractions that substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury to the traveling public. For example, investigators uncovered that the company employed drivers without valid commercial driver's licenses and medical certificates, and the company allowed its drivers to operate without records of duty status. Additionally, WTSA US Express did not test its drivers for controlled substances.
"Our aggressive safety enforcement efforts, designed to shut down the bad actors, are effectively raising the bar for truck and bus safety," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "We will continue to do everything possible to protect the traveling public and help save lives."
On May 30, in the largest single safety crackdown in the agency's history, FMCSA shut down 26 bus operations, declaring them imminent hazards to public safety, and ordered 10 individual bus company owners, managers and employees to cease all passenger transportation operations. The bus companies transported over 1,800 passengers a day along Interstate-95, from New York to Florida. Further, earlier this month, FMCSA and its partners conducted safety inspections of motorcoaches, tour buses, school buses and other commercial passenger buses in 13 states and the District of Columbia resulting in over 2,200 safety inspections and the successful removal of 116 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 169 buses from the roadway for substantial safety violations.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service orders can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/wtsa-us-express-ih-order.pdf.