On Friday, the FMCSA ordered Tucker, Georgia-based passenger carrier Best Limo Service to immediately cease all operations, stating that the company is a hazard to public safety.
Best Limo Service is the second company to be shut down following the deployment of more than 50 specially trained safety investigators that were sent out to investigate “high-risk passenger carriers.”
During the investigation, that was launched earlier this month, inspections found several serious violations. Investigators found that the company and found that “Best Limo Service’s compliance with driver qualification requirements is almost nonexistent. At the instigation of the investigation, Best Limo Service advised FMCSA safety investigators that during the past year it employed six drivers. Upon review of carrier documents, however, FMCSA safety investigators discovered that Best Limo Service actually employed a total of thirteen drivers.
“Further, Best Limo Service had a driver qualification file for only one driver and did not maintain driver qualification files on its other twelve drivers. As a result of its dismal driver qualification practices, Best Limo Service is using a driver to transport passengers in its commercial motor vehicles who had previously tested positive for controlled substances while employed with another carrier. Best Limo Service has also been using a driver with a suspended commercial driver’s license to operate its passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles,” the out-of-service order states.
Additionally, FMCSA investigators learned that Best Limo Service does not properly maintain vehicle inspections, repairs or maintenance and does not monitor its drivers HOS, records of duty status or drug and alcohol testing.
As part of FMCSA’s work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company’s safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA’s multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA’s consumer complaint web site:http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
As to bus companies that FMCSA has recently placed out of service, consumers who paid for their ticket by credit card may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act. For more information visit:http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.
A copy of today’s imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed atwww.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/BestLimoService.pdf.