DOT Cracking Down On Bus Companies For Public Safety Violations
In the largest single safety crackdown in the history of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 26 bus operations have been shut down, declaring them imminent hazards to the public’s safety. In addition, FMCSA ceased all passenger transportation operations of 10 individual bus company owners, managers and employees. These bus companies transported over 1,800 passengers a day along the Interstate-95 corridor, from New York to Florida.
The 26 shutdown orders spanned three primary companies that oversaw a broader network of bus companies. They applied to one ticket seller, 9 active bus companies, 13 companies that were operating after they’d already been ordered out of service, and 3 companies attempting to apply for operating permission. These companies were based out of Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. A series of deadly bus crashes along I-95 in the spring of 2011 prompted the original FMCSA investigation. After a thorough compliance review of these bus carriers’ operations, several of them were asked to shut down entirely that summer.
Federal safety investigators found all of the bus carriers had multiple safety violations, including drivers with hours-of-service and qualification violations, uninspected vehicles, and, perhaps the most defiant and egregious fault, a continuous pattern of using drivers without valid commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and failure to have alcohol and drug testing programs.
The many violations and safety deficiencies that permeated these operations posed a serious hazard to passengers and motorists on our roadways. These companies serve as a glaring reminder of the very real danger that such negligence on a grand scale can present.
Employers are Required to Follow DOT Regulations for Public Safety
Employers with drivers that hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) must undergo a comprehensive background check, driving record check, medical screen, pre-employment and random drug tests as required by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT’s regulations are far reaching and affect the trucking, airline, nuclear, transit and railway industries, along with protecting U.S. seaports and waterways. These industries are heavily regulated to protect the safety and well-being of the passengers they serve and the general public. Employers are reminded that violations of these stringent screening standards can cause hefty fines and even business disruption if not followed.
Employment Background Investigations works with companies to design and administer background screening, drug and alcohol testing, along with occupational healthcare services to meet DOT compliance standards on a pre-employment and ongoing basis. EBI’s solutions include DOT compliant employment verifications, motor vehicle record checks along with drug testing solutions that adhere to the regulations outlined within Code 49, Part 40 of the Federal Code of Regulations. We understand that administering a DOT program can be complicated and time consuming to manage internally. We have all of the tools, compliance knowledge and reporting to keep your DOT regulated program running smooth and compliant.