Trucking News Online

FMCSA Shuts Down Massachusetts Truck Fleet After Fatal Crash

March 18, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News, Regulations, Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Worcester, Mass.-based trucking company J and J Transportation to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered that it immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations.

J and J Transportation was served the federal order on Feb. 25, following an FMCSA investigation, during which the fleet operators refused or were unable to produce:

  • Vehicle maintenance records, including servicing schedules, or documentation otherwise indicating that the company had a vehicle maintenance program
  • Drivers’ vehicle inspection reports or evidence that drivers undertook federally required pre-trip and post-trip safety inspections
  • Evidence that defects identified in past roadside inspections had been corrected – before allowing that particular vehicle to be dispatched again
  • Records for a majority of its drivers specially addressing driver qualification documentation, leading J and J Transportation to dispatch multiple drivers that possessed suspended or invalid commercial driver’s licenses (CDL)
  • Medical examiner’s certificates for its drivers
  • Complete records-of-duty status for its drivers or supporting documents, such as fuel and toll receipts
  • Records for a majority of its driver documenting that they underwent mandatory pre-employment controlled substances tests – before performing a safety-sensitive function including operating a commercial motor vehicle.

On December 4, 2015, a commercial truck operated by J and J Transportation was involved in a single vehicle crash, fatally injuring the driver. The post-crash investigation by the New York State Police found multiple violations by the driver of federal hours-of-service regulations.

The same driver had been cited for false records of duty status during roadside inspections that occurred on Oct. 20, 2015 and again on Dec. 2, 2015. During the compliance investigation, J and J Transportation was unable to show that it had taken any subsequent action following the two roadside inspections to ensure that the driver – and all its drivers – complied with federal hours-of-service and records of duty status regulations.

J and J Transportation’s continued use of unsafe vehicles and its failure to adequately oversee its drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.