Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – a government agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) – has declared a South Dakota-based trucking company to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the motor carrier to cease all operations, according to the FMCSA Newsroom.
The FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order stated that the trucking company’s “…..complete disregard for the [federal safety regulations] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if its operations are not discontinued immediately.”
The federal order – which was served November 19, 2021 – further specified that the company owner and truck driver, who holds a South Dakota-issued commercial driver’s license (CDL), be immediately ordered out-of-service, prohibiting him from operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.
An FMCSA investigation found the trucking company to be noncompliant with multiple federal safety regulations such as the Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing (49 CFR Part 382), Commercial Driver’s License Standards (49 CFR Part 383), Qualification of Drivers (49 CFR Part 391), and Driving of CMVs (49 CFR Part 392).
In June 2020, the owner/driver tested positive for amphetamines and was notified that, as required by federal safety regulations, he was prohibited from operating a CMV until such time he successfully completed the statutorily required return-to-duty process overseen by a Substance Abuse Professional.
The owner/driver’s drug test result was also reported to FMCSA’s CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, an online database that gives employers and government agencies real-time access to information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations. Despite the disqualification, the owner/driver continued to operate a CMV.
Failing to comply with the imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $28,142 for each violation. The trucking company may also be assessed civil penalties of at least $11,256 for providing transportation without operating authority registration, and at least $15,876 for operating a CMV without USDOT registration.
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