The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared North Carolina-based ATA Trail Inc. an imminent hazard to public safety, and ordered the passenger van company to immediately cease all transportation services.
FMCSA issued an imminent hazard out-of-service order against ATA Trail following a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance with federal safety standards.
ATA Trail was immediately shut down after FMCSA safety investigators found the company in violation of multiple federal standards, including using drivers without the required medical qualifications, violating hours-of-service rules for drivers, operating without the proper insurance, and using vehicles that were not regularly inspected and repaired.
FMCSA issued the shutdown order following a nationwide crackdown on unsafe bus operators, during which federal, state and local police conducted 8,300 surprise safety inspections of motorcoaches, tour buses, school buses and other commercial passenger vehicles over a two-week period.
The unannounced inspections were part of FMCSA’s annual National Passenger Carrier Inspection Strike Force, which resulted in 902 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from our roadways.
Roadside motorcoach inspections have jumped nearly 100 percent, from 12,991 in 2005 to 25,705 in 2010, while compliance reviews are up 128 percent, from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010. In addition, FMCSA has initiated a greater number of enforcement cases against unsafe passenger carriers under the current administration: these cases have risen from 36 in 2008 to 44 in 2010.
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