California Truck Driver Imminent Hazard

FMCSA Declares California Truck Driver Imminent Hazard to Public Safety




February 19, 2016 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared commercially-licensed California truck driver Edward Herbert Crane to be an imminent hazard to public safety. Crane has been ordered not to operate any commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. FMCSA served the federal order to Crane on February 9, 2016.

In May 2015, an FMCSA investigation revealed that Crane, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was medically unqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. During the investigation, it was found that Crane had tested positive for the use of prohibited controlled substances, amphetamines or methamphetamines, on three separate occasions since 2012. Additionally, the results of a test that was still pending during the investigation received by the carrier on May 12, 2015, subsequently was positive for methamphetamines.

In June 2015, Crane was disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by order of FMCSA.

Since his first positive controlled substances test in 2012, Crane has been evaluated by multiple substance abuse professionals; however, he failed to comply with the follow-up testing requirements and he failed to obtain a certificate of completion from any substance abuse program provider.

On January 8, 2016, Crane lost control of the commercial vehicle he was operating resulting in the vehicle leaving the highway, striking a concrete barrier and overturning as it was reentering the roadway. Crane was cited by local law enforcement officers for failing to maintain control of his vehicle.

Following the crash, Crane was instructed by his employer to undergo drug and alcohol testing and was provided with the address of a facility. Crane has failed to report to this facility and has refused to submit to a post-crash drug and alcohol test.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of not less than $2,750 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of not less than $5,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

– See more at: FMCSA Declares California Trucker Imminent Hazard to Public Safety



Drivers Protected From Forced Safety Violations

FMCSA Final Rule, children boarding school bus by flickr user woodlywonderworks

FMCSA Final Rule Prohibits Coercion, Protects Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers From Being Forced to Violate Safety Regulations



FMCSA Final Rule Announcement

November 27, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the publication in the Federal Register of a Final Rule to help further safeguard commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations. The Rule provides FMCSA with the authority to take enforcement action not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries. The rule was first proposed in May of 2014. It becomes effective on January 29, 2016.

“Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This Rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public.”

The Final Rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations, and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

In formulating this Rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate federal safety regulations with implicit or explicit threats of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations.




Some of the FMCSA regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, drug and alcohol testing, the transportation of hazardous materials, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

Commercial truck and bus drivers have had whistle-blower protection through the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since 1982, when the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) was adopted. The STAA and OSHA regulations protect drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security conditions. STAA provides whistleblower protection for drivers who report coercion complaints under this Final Rule and are then retaliated against by their employer.

In June 2014, FMCSA and OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the STAA. The Memorandum allows for the exchange of safety, coercion, and retaliation allegations, when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.

For more information on what constitutes coercion and how to submit a complaint to FMCSA, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion. Please note: the Final Rule takes effect 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

This rulemaking was authorized by Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA), as amended.

For a copy of today’s Federal Register announcement, see: www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/11/30/2015-30237/prohibiting-coercion-of-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers.

FMCSA Final Rule, DOT And OSHA

The public, commercial drivers, motor carriers, and other industry members may file a safety, service, or discrimination complaint against a household goods moving company, bus, or truck company, including hazardous materials hauler or a cargo tank facility, by calling toll free 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Time. Complaints may also be submitted through FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint website at: https://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.

FMCSA was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Its primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. For more information on FMCSA’s safety programs and activities, visit: FMCSA.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety, and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at: Whistle Blowers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit: https://www.osha.gov.

– See more at: Final Rule Prohibits Coercion, Protects Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers From Being Forced to Violate Safety Regulations

Minnesota Truck Driver Imminent Hazard

FMCSA Declares Minnesota Truck Driver Imminent Hazard to Public Safety




November 13, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Minnesota-licensed truck driver John Ray Carpenter to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce.

An FMCSA investigation revealed that Carpenter, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, is medically unqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Carpenter, both a driver and the Chief Executive Officer of Hibbing, Minnesota-based Carpenter Brothers Services, Inc., which does business as Portable John, USDOT No. 736285, was served the federal order on Nov. 6, 2015.

On Oct. 22, 2015, while driving a company truck in Crystal Bay Township, Minn., Carpenter suffered a medical problem, which caused his vehicle to cross into oncoming traffic, collide into a passenger vehicle, and fatally injure the driver.

Following the crash, Carpenter revealed to federal and state investigators that he had experienced approximately six previous episodes involving medical problems while driving, some of which also resulted in crashes.

In the past four months, investigators also found multiple violations by Carpenter of federal hours-of-service regulations, which are designed to prevent fatigued driving. On the day prior to the fatal crash in October, investigators found evidence that Carpenter had falsified his records of duty status.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

– See more at: FMCSA Declares Minnesota Truck Driver Imminent Hazard to Public Safety



Georgia Truck Driver Imminent Hazard

FMCSA Declares Georgia Truck Driver Imminent Hazard to Public Safety




October 30, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Georgia-licensed truck driver Matthew Jason Boozer to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

An FMCSA investigation revealed that Boozer is medically unqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce and that he had falsified the medical history section of a recent truck driving job application to conceal a disqualifying medical diagnosis.

On July 6, 2015, while driving a commercial vehicle on Georgia State Route 11, Boozer suffered a medical problem, resulting in his truck crossing both lanes of traffic and crashing through a fence before colliding into a parked vehicle.

Following the crash, Boozer was sent by his employer to a physician who declared him to be medically unqualified; Boozer was subsequently terminated from his employment as a truck driver.

On July 7, 2015, Boozer, in a truck driving job application submitted to a different employer, falsified the medical history section to conceal the medical disqualification issued the previous day, which referenced a 2011 disqualifying medical diagnosis.

Boozer was subsequently hired on the basis of his fraudulent job application and drove trucks for his new employer through September 17, 2015, when his employer became aware of his July 6, 2015 crash and his disqualifying medical condition.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

– See more at: FMCSA Declares Georgia Truck Driver Imminent Hazard to Public Safety