The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently ordered a Georgia-based trucking company, Judson Mobley Logging, Inc., to cease all its operations for its continuing violations of several federal safety regulations. Judson Mobley engaged in interstate commerce and operated across state lines. FMCSA’s decision in shutting down Judson Mobley makes Missouri roads much safer and prevents Missouri semi-truck accidents.
In January 2012, FMCSA conducted a thorough and extensive review of Judson Mobley’s operations in terms of drug and alcohol testing for its drivers, maintenance of their transportation vehicles, and driver qualifications in general. According to the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System, Judson Mobley continually disregarded the federal requirements for vehicle repair and maintenance and driver fitness. Judson Mobley did not have any kind of vehicle maintenance program and it could have been possible that the drivers were operating broken down, unsafe large trucks. Judson Mobley also never implemented any kind of alcohol or controlled substance testing for their drivers to make sure that the drivers could operate large trucks safely. Finally, Judson Mobley’s drivers did not possess the basic employment, medical, or driver credentials needed to operate large trucks. FMCSA ordered Judson Mobley to cease all operations on January 30, 2012 and gave Judson Mobley an “Unsatisfactory” safety fitness rating.
However, Judson Mobley continued its operations despite the FMCSA’s order. On April 30, 2012, one of Judson Mobley’s tractor trailers crashed into another tractor trailer on US Route 301 in South Carolina. The other tractor trailer was transporting a U.S. military airplane. South Carolina police discovered over twenty vehicle maintenance violations including the vehicle possessing defective brakes. This accident prompted FMCSA to issue a second order for Judson Mobley to cease operations. FMCSA stated that Judson Mobley’s “continued and blatant disregard” for federal safety requirements established an “imminently hazardous and potentially deadly risk for . . . drivers and the motor public.”
Since Judson Mobley operated across state lines, it was an “imminent hazard” for the public. This includes Missouri drivers. Judson Mobley’s multiple safety hazards included employing under-qualified large truck drivers, failing to test drivers for drug and alcohol use, and allowing poorly maintained vehicles to be driven on roadways. Just as the April 30 accident shows, operating a poorly maintained vehicle can endanger the lives of all motorists.
Congress authorized FMCSA to shut down any transportation company that is an “imminent hazard” to public safety. The FMCSA administrator notes that “unsafe truck companies that jeopardize public safety have no place on our roads.” Companies that continue to disregard federal safety requirements are not safe from either the FMCSA or any victims of an accident. Injured victims can use the safety requirements in court against the company. Victims of a Missouri truck accident should consult a Missouri truck accident lawyer to see whether or not the company in question has been violating federal safety requirements.
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