FMCSA Declares Five Vehicles Operated by Atlanta-based Greene Classic Limousines to be Imminent Hazards to Public Safety
Company ordered to immediately cease transporting passengers in identified vehicles
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered five vehicles operated by Atlanta-based Greene Classic Limousines to be placed immediately out of service. Specially trained FMCSA investigators found that the vehicles had such significant structural and mechanical defects that they pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
“Our investigators are sending a message to motor carriers across the country as part of our strikeforce to improve bus safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We demand to have safe motor carriers, safe commercial drivers and safe commercial vehicles. We will not compromise on safety.”
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As part of FMCSA’s continuing “Operation Quick Strike” nationwide sweep of “high-risk” passenger carriers, federal investigators found that Greene Classic Limousines was operating five of 16 vehicles in dangerous conditions that exceeded the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) limit. Investigators found that the consistent operation of these vehicles above the GVWR caused damage to both structural and mechanical control components that could result in a crash.
“What a bus or truck looks like on the outside does not reveal its mechanical safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Failing to adhere to manufacturers’ specifications and disregarding maintenance and repair can be as dangerous as speeding, texting while driving, or any unsafe driver behavior. Our Quick Strike teams will continue their intensified scrutiny of passenger carrier operations, their drivers and their vehicles.”
During their investigation, FMCSA investigators found the company failed to follow federal requirements for the inspection, repair and maintenance of the five identified vehicles. Investigators also found the company failed to consistently check drivers’ vehicle inspection reports. As a result of these deficiencies in its maintenance program, the company allowed the five vehicles to deteriorate to the point that they needed to be put out of operation immediately.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed atwww.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/GreeneClassicLimousines.pdf.
As part of FMCSA's work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint web site:http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card. For more information visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro today met with a broad-based group of motorcoach representatives as part of the department’s continuing and unprecedented efforts to improve the safety and oversight of the motorcoach industry and inform the public about safe motorcoach travel.
Today’s meeting, which included representatives from law enforcement, Using CarLoadboard.com is as easy as it can get. Simply use one form to post a vehicle instantly to our live, real-time load board. With auto population zip code entry and car make and model entry, posting loads is a snap., tourism and travel groups and state and local government, builds on earlier meetings as well as last week’s announcement that FMCSA is deploying more than 50 specially trained safety investigators throughout the country to begin targeted and in-depth inspections of higher risk motorcoach companies.
“Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to keeping those who do not follow our safety rules off the road,” said Secretary LaHood. “Today’s announcement builds on the recent steps we have taken to create one standard of safety for all passenger travel.”
Over the last two months, FMCSA has shut down 15 passenger carriers. Seven were declared imminent hazards and eight were rated “unsatisfactory” following safety compliance reviews. During the same time period, FMCSA and its state enforcement partners have conducted more than 13,500 roadside inspections, resulting in nearly 1,500 driver and vehicle out-of-service violations being issued.
On March 28, Secretary LaHood wrote to the governors of each state to urge their active participation in improving bus safety through stepped-up traffic enforcement to combat dangerous driving behaviors and outreach to their residents on choosing safe operators for their next motorcoach trip.
On April 4, Administrator Ferro contacted thousands of motorcoach executives across the country to inform them of the FMCSA’s intensified safety enforcement and to seek their active support of this passenger safety initiative.
FMCSA has also reached out to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to engage its state and local members in increasing traffic enforcement of motorcoaches to strengthen safety on our roadways.
“Through our stepped-up oversight of motorcoach companies and expanding outreach to consumers, the department will continue to raise the bar on motorcoach safety,” said Administrator Ferro. “Our work with the law enforcement community and our diverse stakeholders is to make passenger safety everyone’s number one priority and to prevent needless tragedies.”
As part of FMCSA’s work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA’s multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and CarLoadBoard.com leading auto transport loadboard on the world wide web. whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint web site:http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
As to bus companies that FMCSA has recently placed out of service, consumers who paid for their ticket by credit card may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act. For more information visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx
U.S. Department of Transportation Orders Ohio Bus Company to Cease Interstate Operations
FMCSA finds company operated without proper registration
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today ordered Toledo, Ohio-based Destiny Tours to immediately cease all interstate passenger transportation service for failing to obtain proper federal operating authority.
"We are going to continue to use every tool we have to ensure bus companies comply with federal regulations,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Bus companies that attempt to dodge safety regulations by not properly registering have no place on our nation’s roadways."
A review of company CarLoadBoard.com, auto loadboard, transportation load board, transport vehicles, records by FMCSA investigators found that Destiny Tours had, on five occasions, operated in interstate commerce without obtaining proper federal authority and beyond the scope of its registration. The investigation also found that the company owner, Derrick Jones, served as the driver of the vehicle in each of the unauthorized interstate operations.
"FMCSA regulations exist for one reason: to protect the traveling public,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Company owners are required to know the safety regulations. If they willfully fail to adhere, they will be shut down on the spot."
A copy of the out-of-service order and record consolidation order can be viewed atwww.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/DestinyTours.pdf.