The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Rimrock Stages, Inc., doing business as Rimrock Trailways and Rimrock Stages, a passenger carrier based in Billings, Mont., to immediately cease operations and declared the carrier to be an imminent hazard to public safety.
"Safety is our highest priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will move quickly to shut down bus companies that do not operate safely."
FMCSA initiated an investigation of Rimrock Stages and determined the company does not have adequate safety management practices to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles are systematically and properly inspected, repaired and maintained. FMCSA also found that Rimrock Stages failed to repair its commercial motor vehicles in a competent manner, failed to ensure that its mechanics are knowledgeable and qualified, failed to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles meet minimum safety standards and knowingly dispatched vehicles with safety defects. These patterns of violation substantially increase the likelihood of serious crashes, which endanger Rimrock Stages' drivers, passengers and the motoring public.
FMCSA inspected eight commercial motor vehicles operated by Rimrock Stages last week and discovered serious noncompliance and safety defects during every vehicle inspection. During the inspections, FMCSA discovered 79 violations of federal safety requirements, including 33 violations that individually required the vehicles to be placed out of service. Each of the eight vehicles inspected was ordered out of service.
"FMCSA will continue to do everything within its current legal authority to remove unsafe operators from our roads," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "Our agency is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle and driver safety."
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 Website: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think "safety first" before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by referring to FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA also provides a free SaferBus mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users that provides a quick and easy way to view a bus company's safety record: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/saferbus/saferbus.aspx.