April 10, 2012

FMCSA Shuts Down Hazardous Trucking Carrier

by Levin & Perconti

TruckingInfo.com reports that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently shut down a New Jersey trucking carrier after declaring the carrier an “imminent hazard to public safety.” Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration placed the transportation company out of service after numerous roadside inspections revealed multiple hours-of-service, driver, as well as, vehicle maintenance violations. The out of service order mandates that compliance be held by both the principals and drivers of the trucking carrier.

A Chicago trucking accident attorney at our firm learned that numerous safety investigators uncovered evidence that the trucking carrier continued to maintain operation, despite having an active United States Department of Transportation number, as well as, a valid operating authority. Additionally, it was found that the trucking carrier operated large commercial vehicles that had severe mechanical defects and were not routinely inspected and/or repaired. The article also reports that the company’s semi truck drivers also obtained severe violations relating to hours-of-service and driver qualification.

The news report confirms that in May 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety New Jersey Division attempted to conduct an obligatory safety investigation of the trucking carrier. However, the safety agency was unsuccessful after several attempts to schedule an investigation with the carrier and the agency ultimately deactivated the trucking carrier’s Department of Transportation number. Despite the inactivation, in addition to, a lack of operating authority and insufficient safety management, the trucking carrier continued to operate.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers learned that the trucking carrier’s log violation rate is 50 percent, while its log out-of-service violation rate is 30 percent. The vehicle violations ultimately found by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration included tires that were flat and with belt material showing, multiple inoperable lamps, overweight loads, trucks having to be hotwired to be started, along with numerous other noted violations.

Ultimately, the New Jersey trucking carrier could be issued severe penalties of up to $16,000 per day for each day the carriers continues to authorize interstate and intrastate transportation. If the carrier’s violations are determined to be knowing and willful, additional criminal penalties may and will be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000, as well as, a one-year prison term.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are outraged at the type of risky and hazardous behavior has been displayed by this New Jersey trucking carrier. When trucking carriers and their drivers violate rules and regulations established by federal and state laws, the safety of the traveling public is put in peril. If you have been injured or have lost at loved one in an Illinois trucking accident, please contact our experienced accident attorneys as soon as possible to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.