Agency orders shutdown of two carriers, one driver

Overdrive Staff

March 22, 2013

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 21 ordered Oak Park, Mich.-based Highway Star Inc. and Atlanta-based General Trucking Inc. to immediately cease operations, declaring the companies to be imminent hazards to public safety.

An FMCSA senior official, speaking at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., said to expect more such announcements in the future as part of a broad pattern of focus shifting toward unsafe trucking operations.

One of Highway Star’s drivers, Ibrahim Fetic, was also declared an imminent hazard and was ordered to immediately cease all commercial motor vehicle operations due to his failure to comply with federal hours-of-service regulations.

On March 2, 2013, Fetic caused a fatal crash on Interstate 65 in Hardin County, Ky., when he rear-ended a passenger vehicle, killing six people and injuring two others. A post-crash investigation by FMCSA found that Fetic had been driving well in excess of HOS regulations and had falsified his record-of-duty status log.

FMCSA found that Highway Star failed to require its drivers to comply with HOS regulations. It also allowed or required its drivers operating CMVs in interstate commerce to falsify their records-of-duty status and failed to preserve these records, resulting in the carrier being unable to monitor its drivers’ compliance with regulations setting maximum hours of service and requiring off-duty and rest hours.

General Trucking Inc. was investigated after it was involved in a rash of crashes. FMCSA’s investigation found a companywide practice of violating federal safety regulations, including disregarding driver qualification requirements by dispatching unqualified drivers, inadequate monitoring and controlling driver compliance with hours of service requirements, and dispatching and operating unsafe vehicles which were grossly overloaded.

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One thought on “Agency orders shutdown of two carriers, one driver

  1. There are a few things that I tuhgoht you should point out in your blog; things that are active on my mind as a trade unionist, activist and pro-labor blogger, but also things that affect me as an American citizen.For starters, I am mostly alarmed that there is a blatant breaking of the law taking place by the current administration around this program. The Teamsters pushed out a press release about this on January 7th. In that release they write, Congress passed an omnibus budget, signed into law December 26, that includes a provision banning funds to establish a cross-border motor carrier demonstration program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones. While I believe that we need to act globally as well, we should do so with the citizens of the country’s full safety taken as a top consideration. In addition, I don’t like the fact that the administration has broken the law, again. I think that if you or I were to interpret laws to our liking we would probably be spending time in jail.There is a tremendous safety issue, and I keep alluding to that. From what I understand the Mexican drivers are not held to the same standards as American drivers. I am not sure what, if any, training thy have, but that is not even the point. The point is that if a Mexican driver runs you and your family over (G.d forbid), nothing will happen to that driver. He will get a fine and sent back to Mexico. The chances are that he will be back behind the wheel roaming the American roads within three six weeks, this is unacceptable. If I, an American driver, was involved with the same heinous scenario, do you know what would happen to me? Among other things, I believe I would be facing vehicular manslaughter. (Not sure, I am not an attorney, a driver).There are other things involved. For instance, the Mexican drivers are totally being exploited. They are given trucks that are often not up to snuff for the kind of driving they’d be doing in the US. They are not liable to follow out 11 hour days and if they are pushed, they are obviously putting their own lives in jeopardy, and that is not cool either.I think that Mary Peters, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, should be indicted on breaking a federal law. I think that she is totally responsible for any of the above scenarios potentially happening Anyway, this is my point of view and wanted to share it with you.

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