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CT Carrier Faces FMCSA Shutdown
Mariah Barr
6 mins read

A Connecticut motor carrier has been given an FMCSA shutdown order for numerous safety and compliance violations – both driver- and vehicle-related.

According to the imminent hazard order issued to the carrier, during a compliance investigation that began on May 25, the FMCSA found “extensive acute and/or critical violations in almost every part of the FMCSRs that they reviewed,” including drug and alcohol testing; CDL standards; driver qualification and recordkeeping; and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance.

Ebook: How to Manage Compliant Driver Files 

“Cumulatively, these violations demonstrated [the motor carrier’s] lack of effective safety management controls. The proposed safety rating based on the Compliance Investigation is Unsatisfactory,” said FMCSA in the imminent hazard order.  

To make matters worse, while the company was under investigation, one of its drivers and his passenger were killed in a crash on June 2nd while making their way in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) from Connecticut to Vermont. While rounding a sharp curve on Vermont Route 64, the truck descended into a ditch and overturned onto the roof. The brakes were smoking before the crash, according to witnesses.

Numerous out-of-service vehicle inspections were found after the crash, explaining what the witnesses saw. Chafed service and emergency brake air hoses, cracked brake linings, and inoperative brakes were just some of them. FMCSA stated local law enforcement is still investigating the crash.  

And that’s not the end of the laundry list of violations. The driver’s license had expired, and the company was aware of it since they had a copy of the expired license in their records. Yet they continued to allow him to drive.  

Watch the Webinar Now: The Connection Between Driver Files & Nuclear Verdicts 

A Long Record of Violations 

The CT-based carrier is no stranger to the FMCSA, and not in a good way, either. During the past two years, the company had a vehicle out-of-service rate of 81.8% – the industry average being slightly above 20%. The company faced six roadside inspections across that time period, with four involving vehicle inspections. Three of the vehicle inspections resulted in at least one out-of-service violation.  

Over the course of all six inspections, the company’s drivers were cited for 23 vehicle maintenance violations. Some of the overlooked defects were inoperative lamps and turn signals, defective brakes, and air leaks in the brake system. Not only are these violations dangerous, but they can come with some hefty fines as well. 

If the carrier fails to follow the FMCSA shutdown in the imminent hazard order, they could face civil penalties up to $29,893 as well as criminal penalties.

Don’t Let Your Fleet Face the Same Fate  

This carrier committed enough violations to make your head spin. And while DOT compliance can be confusing at times, putting your employees’ and other drivers’ safety first is not. The devastating crash could have been prevented if the company had taken the time to inspect, maintain, and repair the CMV before dispatching the driver to take it on the road.  

Ensure your drivers are always performing pre- and post-trip inspections on their rigs. These quick lookovers can be the difference between a safe trip and a deadly one, and it’s your responsibility to help your employees return home safely. In fact, the DOT has found that most violations could be avoided by completing basic pre-trip inspections. 

Enforcement Season is Here – Are You Ready? 

Your employees are your front-line defense against violations and accidents. The greater number of safe drivers you employ, the less likely you are to face an accident and the repercussions that follow. According to Automotive Fleet, the annual commercial fleet accident rate is 20%, and an average accident can cost a company between $16,000 and $75,000. If there are injuries, that number continues to climb up to $150,000.  

Keep Track of Your Driver Documents with Ease 

Although the expired driver’s license may not seem like a big deal compared to the other violations this carrier committed, it’s still a violation that can be easily prevented. Think of it this way: if the company had pulled the driver from the road until his license had been renewed (like they should have), he and his passenger most likely would not have been involved in the wreck on that fateful day.  

Foley’s comprehensive driver qualification file (DQF) management program transfers all your paper files to an electronic format. From there, all documents are monitored for expirations or other updates, and you’re notified of them with plenty of time to take corrective action.  

You won’t have to worry about your drivers operating CMVs with expired CDLs or other avoidable violations with Foley on your side. Get a free demo of the Foley platform today, see how easy it is to operate safely and compliantly, and steer clear of the threat of an FMCSA shutdown. 

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