A small motor carrier based in Connecticut was ordered to immediately cease operations for “continued widespread noncompliance with federal safety regulations.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared Alvarez Transport LLC, USDOT No. 2484230, an “Imminent hazard” to public safety on June 23.
During a compliance Investigation that began on May 25, FMCSA safety investigators discovered “extensive acute and/or critical violations” in almost every part of the safety regulations that they reviewed, demonstrating the motor carrier’s “lack of effective safety management controls.”
Violations were found in drug and alcohol testing, commercial driver’s license standards, qualifications of drivers, and vehicle inspection/repair/maintenance.
While the compliance Investigation was ongoing, an Alvarez Transport driver had a fatal accident that also killed his passenger. Officials found the company had dispatched the driver even though its own records contained a copy of his CDL that showed it was expired.
Witnesses reported that the truck’s brakes were smoking before the crash, and a post-crash inspection discovered several out-of-service vehicle conditions. FMCSA found the company did not have a systematic inspection and maintenance program, and in the 24 months previous, its vehicle out-of-service rate was 82% — compared to a national average of 21%.
The driver out of service rate was also more than twice the national average. FMCSA found drivers who did not have medical certificates in their files, who had not filled out a required application nor underground background checks or drug testing.
Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $29,893. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.