Further proof just how dangerous unsafe trucking companies and truck drivers can be, in March the federal government shut down not one but three trucking operations in a two-week span for careless practices.
In July 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Among its provisions, the new law allows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to force negligent trucking companies to cease operations. Last month, the FMCSA flexed its new muscles.
Two Atlanta-based trucking operations, Southern Transportation, Inc. and General Trucking, Inc., were shuttered by FMCSA. Southern Transportation was cited for not providing company safety records and General Trucking was deemed “an imminent hazard to safety” by the federal agency.
Trucking Companies Negligent Practices Cited by FMCSA
FMCSA declared that Southern Transportation showed a “management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety” by:
• Not monitoring drivers’ hours to make sure they did not exceed the legally allowed number of hours they could work
• Not requiring drivers to submit records-of-duty-status, or logs
The other Atlanta-based carrier, General Transportation, was cited for:
• Using drivers who are unqualified to operate commercial motor vehicles
• Falsifying driver files
Michigan-based Highway Star, Inc., was the third trucking company shut down for unsafe practices in late March. FMCSA found that the company failed to require its drivers to comply with federal safety regulations – even allowing or requiring them to falsify their logs. These abuses came to light after a trucking accident that killed six people involving a Highway Star driver who at the time of the crash had far exceed the trucking industry’s hours-of-service regulations.
While it is heartening to see the federal government taking a more aggressive stance against dangerous trucking companies, who knows how many trucking companies in Missouri and Illinois are similarly negligent. They may not be closed down before their careless actions are responsible for multiple deaths.