The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Wilmington, Mass.-based Lynette's Limousine Service, Inc. (USDOT No. 1711396) to immediately cease all operations, declaring that its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety. Lynette's Limousine Service operates a fleet of 20 vehicles consisting of limousines, stretch limousines, specialty vans, a motor coach and other vehicles for hire in interstate commerce.
"Passengers on limousines, vans and buses, as well as every traveler on the road with them, deserve to reach their destination safely. "We will not allow vital safety requirements that protect the motoring public to be ignored," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Companies that disregard basic rules and jeopardize safety will not be allowed to operate."
The shut-down order announced today follows an investigation by a team of specially trained FMCSA safety investigators established in April to conduct intensified, "quick strike" investigations of high-risk passenger carriers.
Federal investigators found that Lynette's Limousine Service failed to systematically and properly inspect, repair or maintain its vehicles and allowed vehicles that had failed safety inspections to transport passengers. Investigators also found that company owners failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with hours-of-service requirements, dispatched unqualified drivers to transport passengers and failed to ensure drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use testing regulations. A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/LynettesLimousineService.pdf.
"When it comes to safety, there is no cutting corners," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "We will continue to take immediate action to shut down companies that put the traveling public at risk. Safety is paramount."
This action becomes the 15th out-of-service order issued by FMCSA since the deployment in April 2013 of more than 50 "Operation Quick Strike" safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers.
In the past three months, FMCSA has also revoked the operating authority of nine additional bus companies following compliance review investigations that resulted in an "unsatisfactory" safety rating.
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 22 bus companies and nine trucking companies. The agency has also declared seven commercial driver's license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating 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 SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at 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/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
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.