NJ fleet shut down by FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared New Jersey-based J&A Transportation, Inc. an “imminent hazard to public safety” and ordered the trucking company to cease operations.

The shutdown order was based on the results of numerous roadside inspections which found multiple hours-of-service, driver and vehicle maintenance violations, FMCSA said in its out-of-service order.

Safety investigators found that the trucking company continued to operate without an active USDOT number and valid operating authority. Investigators also found that the company operated vehicles that had serious mechanical defects, and were not regularly inspected and repaired. Additionally, the company’s drivers had serious hours-of-service and driver qualification violations “that substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury or death to the traveling public,” the FMCSA order said.

“J & A Transportation, Inc., shows blatant disregard for safety and adherence to the FMCSR. The roadside inspections demonstrate a pattern and practice of requiring or permitting drivers to falsify Records of Duty Status or to exceed the maximum hours of service limitations,” the order states.

FMCSA relies upon the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to assess a motor carrier’s on-road performance in six Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS). The SMS quantifies on-road safety performance and ranks each motor carrier’s relative performance in each BASIC by computing a percentile score on a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 indicating the worst performance. J & A Transportation was found to be “seriously deficient” in three of the seven BASICs: Unsafe Driving (66.9%), Fatigued Driving (hours-of-service 94.5%), and Vehicle Maintenance (98%).

The out-of-service order applies to J&A Transportation, Inc. and its principals and drivers. The company is managed and/or controlled by Claytea Armstrong, Watrina Armstrong, and Joseph Armstrong and employs two drivers: Alterick D. Sanders and Harry S. Barrett.

“Safety is our top priority at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Commercial truck companies whose disregard of the law places the traveling public at risk will not be allowed to operate on our nation’s highways.”

“FMCSA takes seriously its responsibility to remove unscrupulous truck companies off the road. Companies that disregard safety will be shut down,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/J-A-IH-OOS-Order.pdf.

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