FMCSA bans Canadian truck driver from operating in the U.S.
Posted April 1, 2016
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared an Ontario, Canada-licensed truck driver to be an imminent hazard to public safety, prohibiting him from operating any commercial motor vehicle in the United States. The driver, an Ontario, Canada, Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the FMCSA order on March 9, 2016.
On four separate occasions over the course of four days in March 2016, the driver was ordered out-of-service by state roadside safety inspectors for falsifying records of duty status and egregiously violating hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving. In each of the first three instances, the driver willfully disregarded the out-of-service order and continued operating his commercial truck — including surreptitiously removing the vehicle from a storage facility where it had been towed.
On March 4, 2016, New York State Police stopped the driver in Clinton, New York, following citizen complaints that his commercial truck was being operated in an erratic manner. The driver was ordered out-of-service for exceeding the 14-hour on-duty federal limitation for truck drivers.
Ignoring the out-of-service order, the driver was stopped by Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles personnel in South Burlington, Vermont, approximately two-and-a-half hours later — once again following citizen reports of dangerous, erratic operation of the driver’s truck, including instances of weaving across lanes and into the median.
For a second time and by a different state law enforcement officer, the driver was ordered out-of-service for federal hours-of-service violations and operating a commercial vehicle while fatigued. The driver was also charged with operating a commercial vehicle in a careless and negligent manner, failure to maintain lane, and multiple logbook violations. At 2:29 p.m., the driver’s truck was subsequently towed to a storage facility.
Approximately four hours later, surveillance video showed the driver departing the storage facility in the truck in willful violation of the previous out-of-service orders.
On March 8, 2016, during a safety inspection at the Massena, New York, Port of Entry, the driver was again ordered out-of-service for falsifying records-of-duty status. For the third time in the span of four days, the driver willfully ignored the out-of-service order and resumed operating the truck.
Approximately four hours after departing Massena, New York, the driver was stopped for speeding by New York State Police. He was again cited for falsifying his records-of-duty status and ordered out-of-service.
The driver has been charged in Vermont with the careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle; his court date has been set for April 25, 2016. The driver also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that the driver’s “…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or to the motoring public.”
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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