Just over two weeks after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered an Illinois-based trucking company to shut down all interstate movements, a federal judge on Wednesday ruled it can return to the roadway.

DND International challenged the agency’s order, in which it was described as “an imminent hazard to public safety” following an investigation into the trucking company that began after a Jan. 27 crash killing an Illinois Tollway worker and seriously injured an Illinois State Police trooper.

An administrative law judge ruled there was no evidence that actions by DND contributed to the crash and the FMCSA failed to prove the carrier was a danger, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to DND’s attorney, the carrier lost all of its drivers following the April 1 FMCSA order, and it will take some time before the operation is back up and running.

FMCSA says its investigation uncovered a pattern of logbook falsification by drivers. However, the judge said between the time the investigation ended and FMCSA ordered DND off the road, the carrier was in the process of switching to electronic logs.

The FMCSA says it will appeal the ruling.

“Investigators uncovered a dangerous pattern of behavior that the company and their drivers made every effort to conceal. Keeping this company off the road is in the best interest of public safety,” said agency spokesperson Marissa Padilla in a statement.

Federal safety records show DND has exceeded the threshold for intervention by the FMCSA in both the unsafe driving and hours of service compliance categories under the agency's CSA Safety Measurement System. It also has poor marks in the vehicle maintenance category, but not enough to trigger agency intervention. DND’s out-of-service rate based upon inspections is 19% for vehicles and 9% for drivers.

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