The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently ordered two North Carolina-based trucking companies to shut down all of their transportation services following a fatal accident. The companies reportedly had a history of safety violations, and the accident led the FMCSA to conclude that the companies posed a risk to public safety. The December 13 shut-down order cited the accident, along with inadequate maintenance and repair of vehicles, violations of hours-of-service regulations, and allegations of alcohol or drug use.
The accident occurred on November 12, 2012, when a driver for Murfreesboro, North Carolina-based Two Dayes Transport was backing a trailer, owned by Two Dayes Trucking, into a company-owned private driveway. This caused the trailer to block the road, a hilly area of U.S. Highway 258. At about 5:50 p.m. a pickup truck traveling on U.S. 258 collided with the trailer and became wedged underneath it. The pickup truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators later concluded that he could not see the trailer because dirt was obscuring the reflective tape on both the tractor and the trailer. This prompted a more thorough investigation of the trucking companies, Two Dayes Transport and Two Dayes Trucking.
The FMCSA reportedly discovered that the companies were operating under a revoked registration with the Department of Transportation (DOT), and that Two Dayes Trucking had reincarnated itself as Two Dayes Transport. The two companies had combined operations in a single location, with a primary business of transporting roofing shingles and recycled steel. An investigation of the companies found multiple safety and other regulatory violations, according to the FMCSA. Investigators described a “flagrant disregard” for safety regulations. The companies had no formal program for vehicle maintenance, nor did they have any procedures to determine if their vehicles were safe to drive. They had no records to identify their individual vehicles, and they did not keep records of repairs or maintenance to the vehicles. The companies also reportedly had not followed the FMCSA’s procedures for ensuring driver qualifications. The companies had no procedures for testing drivers for drug or alcohol use. The companies’ two drivers had not passed government-mandated drug tests.
The out-of-service order, effective as of December 13, 2012, prohibits the two companies from operating the two trucks known to the FMCSA for any commercial purpose until they comply with a series of “remedial actions.” This includes compliance with vehicle maintenance regulations and determinations that both vehicles meet federal safety standards. Drivers employed by the company must report on the condition of the vehicles on a daily basis, and must maintain their own qualifications to operate commercial vehicles. Drivers must also submit to and pass periodic drug testing. The companies must follow hours-of-service regulations by requiring drivers to log their hours behind the wheel and ensuring that they have enough time off-duty and resting.
Trucking accident attorney Doug Horn is an advocate for safe driving in the greater Kansas City area. He represents the rights of people who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the negligent or illegal conduct of others. Contact us today online or at (816) 795-7500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Imminent Hazard Operations Out-of-Service Order (PDF file), Order No. NC-2013-5000-IMH, In Re: Henry T. Daye dba Two Dayes Transport, et al, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, December 13, 2012