Today, the FMCSA announced that it has ordered Cherryville, North Carolina carrier, Moonlight Express, USDOT #2403330, to immediately cease operations, declaring the company “an imminent hazard to the public safety.”
Moonlight Express is owned by Rocky Lee Brown. In October, FMCSA investigators found that Brown failed to comply with “multiple regulations ranging from safety of his vehicles to the proper monitoring of his drivers,” the FMCSA said.
During the investigation, the FMCSA found that the five trucks operated by Moonlight Express failed to meet minimum safety standards. Additionally, the FMCSA says that Moonlight Express does not systematically inspect, repair or maintain its vehicles to the FMCSA’s standards.
FMCSA investigators found that Moonlight Express died not ensure its drivers are properly qualified.
“On multiple instances, a driver with a suspended commercial driver’s license had been allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The company did not ensure that its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours,” the FMCSA stated.
According to the FMCSA’s out-of-service order, “Moonlight Express’s nonexistent and inadequate maintenance program substantially increases the risk of serious injury or death and is an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly condition for Moonlight Express’s drivers and the motoring public.”
The out-of-service order goes on to state that during the inspection, FMCSA investigators found that Moonlight Express had no driver-qualification files for 4 of its 6 drivers. In addition, the company has incomplete driver qualification files for its other 2 drivers, and only 1 of its drivers has a current medical certificate.
Moonlight Express also allegedly allowed a driver with a suspended commercial driver’s license to operate a CMV.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to use every means available to prevent unsafe commercial carriers and drivers from recklessly endangering the public.”
“We will continue to have zero tolerance for commercial truck and bus operators and their drivers who choose to ignore critical safety regulations that protect every traveler on our roadways,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Knowingly operating an unsafe vehicle or failing to comply with driver safety regulations puts the entire motoring public at risk.”
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 11 trucking companies and 26 bus companies. The agency has also declared 10 commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.