USDOT Shuts Down North Carolina Trucking Company for Posing Risk to Public Safety

USDOT Shuts Down North Carolina Trucking Company for Posing Risk to Public Safety
Image: Pexels
March 29, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Hendersonville, North Carolina-based trucking company to cease all intrastate and interstate operations after a federal investigation found the carrier to pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

During a federal compliance review investigation that took place in February of this year, FMCSA safety investigators found that Leslie Erickson, doing business as Les's Tree and Stump, Inc., was in violation of multiple federal safety regulations including:

  • Failing to conduct pre-employment background checks on drivers;
  • Failing to ensure drivers were qualified before dispatching them in commercial operations;
  • Failing to ensure drivers were qualified before dispatching them in commercial operations;
  • Failing to properly monitor drivers to ensure compliance with hours-of-service requirements;
  • Failing to conduct random drug and alcohol tests on drivers, and;
  • Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and met minimum safety standards.

According to investigators, Leslie Erickson's continued use of unsafe vehicles and failure to adequately oversee drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public.

FMCSA says that violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in a penalty of up to $25,000, operating without necessary authority may result in a fine of not less than $10,000, and operating without a USDOT number may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000. A violation of this order may also result in a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed here.