The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Utah-based Reliable Transportation Services to immediately cease all transportation services, declaring the trucking company and its principal, Jay Zachary Barber, an imminent hazard to public safety.
The order follows an extensive review of the company’s operations, which found multiple hours-of-service, hazardous materials, drug and alcohol testing and vehicle maintenance violations, as well as a high occurrence of recent crashes, according to FMCSA.
FMCSA immediately shut the company down after safety investigators found hours-of-service and driver qualification violations that substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury or death to the traveling public, the imminent hazard out-of-service order said.
“Reliable Transportation currently fails to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with drivers’ hours of service and records of duty status requirements; fails to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles are inspected, repaired, and maintained; fails to ensure that its drivers have appropriate licenses and endorsements for the commercial motor vehicles they operate; fails to ensure its drivers are medically examined and certified; fails to ensure its drivers are properly qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles; fails to comply with driver controlled substances and alcohol use testing requirements; fails to comply with hazardous materials regulations (HMRs ), including registration requirements, training requirements and placarding requirements; and intentionally submits fraudulent documents in order to avoid detection of continued safety violations, thereby posing an ongoing and continuing imminent hazard,” FMCSA said.
The FMCSA's Safety Measurement System also showed that Reliable “exceeds by a significant margin” the intervention threshold for the unsafe driving, fatigue driving, and driver fitness behavior analysis and safety improvement categories in all three BASICs.
“Reliable Transportation does not require drivers to submit records of duty status, does not monitor records of duty status and does not maintain” such records, said the FMCSA. “You were found to have committed multiple violations of separate hazardous materials regulations; six separate controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations, including using 42 drivers before the drivers received a negative pre-employment controlled substances test result; and two separate commercial driver's license violations, including knowingly using a driver with a suspended license. Additionally, you failed to maintain proof of insurance at your principle place of business and failed to maintain an accident register. You also falsified at least twenty-one leases in an attempt to evade detection of negative roadside safety performance.”
Reliable also failed to keep any records of vehicle maintenance and was unaware of any maintenance problems with the vehicles, “thereby failing to ensure your commercial motor vehicles were properly and regularly inspected, repaired and maintained,” FMCSA continued.
“The current ongoing compliance review of Reliable Transportation disclosed violations of the FMCSRs so widespread as to demonstrate a continuing and flagrant disregard for compliance with the FMCSRs and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety,” the out-of-service order said. “Reliable Transportation’s actions and operations establish an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly situation for its drivers and the motoring public.”
Reliable’s owner, Barber, started Reliable shortly after his previous company, Factory Direct Foods, was shut down in January 2010. Reliable was involved in seven crashes within the past year, and six since December, the FMCSA said.
“Safety is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Commercial truck companies that blatantly disregard safety should not be on our roadways and will be shut down.”
“This agency will continue to exhaust every resource within its legal authority to pursue and shut down unsafe trucking companies that place the public at risk,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Companies that refuse to adhere to federal safety rules will not be allowed to operate.”
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/reliable-transportation-services-shutdown-order.pdf.
Reliable is the second trucking company ordered closed by the FMCSA this year. In February, the agency shut down U&D Services of Indianapolis. FMCSA also shut down Gunther Transport and Clock Transport last November for significant hours-of-service violations.