Today, the FMCSA announced it has ordered an unauthorized Springfield, Massachusetts passenger carrier to immediately cease all operations and has declared the company an “imminent hazard to public safety.”
According to a statement released by the FMCSA, Santana Busline, Inc., failed to ensure its drivers and vehicles complied with federal safety regulations.
“We won’t allow the traveling public to be put at risk by unsafe bus operators,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will take swift action when we uncover companies that ignore our federal safety regulations.”
In October 2012, Santana Busline, Inc. applied for and was denied DOT operating authority because the of the carrier’s affiliation with another carrier, Santana Xpress, Inc., that had been placed out of service in April of that year, because of the company’s unsatisfactory safety rating and for failure to pay civil penalties.
In January 2013, inspectors found that Santana Busline was operating unmarked 15-passenger vans. The FMCSA began investigating Santana Busline’s operations and vehicles, and found that the carrier was operating without DOT authority.
During the investigation, the FMCSA found that Santana Busline failed to ensure that its drivers comply with HOS requirements, “allowed unqualified drivers to operate its vehicles in an unsafe manner, failed to conduct periodic vehicle safety inspections, failed to properly maintain and repair vehicles as required by federal regulations and knowingly dispatched vehicles with safety defects.”
“We will not allow an interstate bus, van or trucking company to disregard the law and to disregard public safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “We will continue to work closely with our state law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and shut down carriers that have no place on our highways and roads.”
Read the out-of-service order here.