Every transportation company in the country is subject to the ramifications of this phrase – imminent hazard to public safety. Pronounced by the right regulators at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these words can put a company’s work on ice, force them to breach contracts, and put a wrench in the works of a struggling company.
This is exactly what happened recently to a Massachusetts-based company who was issued an order by the FMCSA to cease operations immediately because they posed an imminent hazard to public safety. Admittedly this order was issued after several serious failures that resulted in some dangerous situations, but could they have been avoided in the first place?
What Happened in This Case
What happened in this case was a failure to communicate aptly with the FMCSA, and to follow regulations that would put any company’s ability to do business in jeopardy. According to reports, the company was initially issued a cease operations order after refusing to participate in a federal program known as the New Entrant Safety Audit. After giving in, the company was granted the right to operate again.
The major problem here, however, involved the safety malfunctions that could have ended very badly for the company and innocents. According to the same story, the company had a truck whose brake malfunctioned and rolled into a residential housing complex. Later, a truck owned by the same company had brake failure that caused it to break down and be towed from the highway. This raised red flags at the federal agency.
The FMCSA conducted a review on all of the company’s trucks, and it did not go well for the company. All of the trucks inspected had some out-of-service safety violations, including problems with brakes, suspension systems, and steering. Naturally such a state of affairs prompted the agency to issue the stop work order.
One of the chief issues with this company was its lack of a system to regularly inspect and upkeep its fleet. This is the kind of thing that can save a company from disaster, having systems and protocols in place to ensure that regulations are kept, trucks are clear, and that regulators are kept far away from operations. If this company had such systems and protocols in place here, they might still be on the road today.
What can a small to mid-size transportation company do, though? No company wants to skirt the law, and no company wants to put themselves, their employees, or the company in danger. But there are thousands of federal, state, and municipal regulations that a company must wade through to stay compliant and grow a business. That is where the expertise of experienced counsel comes into play.
At Anderson and Yamada we have decades of experience helping transportation companies of all sizes stay compliant with federal, state, and municipal regulations. By counseling and representing your company, we can help you avoid the pitfalls and dangers that the company in this story faced. Contact us today so we can show you how we can help your company.