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.