The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Administration recently ordered Texas-based interstate trucking company Demco Express/Demco Transportation, Inc. to cease any and all trucking and transportation operations. The FMCSA found that Demco Express was an imminent hazard to national public safety due to its continuing violations of federal safety regulations. Demco Express operated throughout the United States, including interstate highways running through Missouri like I-70, I-270 or I-64.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood justified the closure of Demco Express’s operations by stating that FMCSA will not “let trucking companies that put motorists at risk operate on our nation’s roadways. Safety must come first.”
After an extensive investigation on the practices of Demco Express, the FMCSA applied the cease-operations order to Demco Express, Demco Trans, Inc., and company owner Denny Mekenye. The investigation report on Demco Express noted a “continuing and flagrant” disregard for federal safety requirements. The investigation report even described the company’s methods as “reckless” and that Demco’s management was incapable of demonstrating even “basic safety management controls.”
Specifically, Demco did not monitor the amount of hours its employed drivers would operate a motor vehicle in a particular shift. The United States government has imposed strict regulations on the amount of hours a trucking employee can drive in one particular shift. Such regulations even impose mandatory hours in which a driver must sleep in a certain shift. Alarmingly, investigators found that the little amount of driving records that Demco did maintain were entirely falsified; global positioning systems (GPS’s) used by the Demco drivers often entirely contradicted other driving records. In other words, Demco had little way of knowing exactly how many hours its drivers were actually working and its drivers could have easily been operating above the maximum federal requirement. Demco did not test its drivers for controlled substances of any kind. Finally, Demco failed to periodically review the qualification of its drivers. Noncompliance with the Federal requirements in this area was so severe that ten (10) of its drivers were operating vehicles despite how they were not licensed to drive. Demco allowed truck drivers to operate motor vehicles despite how some of its drivers had disqualified, suspended, or revoked commercial driver’s licenses.
Investigators also noted that Demco Express drivers had alarmingly high test scores in terms of Unsafe Driving, poor vehicle maintenance, and fatigued driving. Due to all of the above, the FMCSA noted that Demco’s continuing operations posed an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly risk for both its drivers and the general public.
Since trucking companies operate across state lines, you could be involved in a Missouri tractor trailer accident resulting in serious or fatal injuries. Like Demco Express, it is possible that the involved trucking company was not complying with federal safety requirements or its drivers could even be operating without commercial driver’s licenses. If you are involved in a Missouri truck accident, it would be best to consult a Missouri truck accident attorney for more information.