FMCSA declares Illinois tour bus company imminent hazard

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 5/16/2013

An Illinois tour bus company has been ordered out of service for being an imminent hazard to public safety, according to a Thursday news release from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Illini Tours Inc. of Champaign, IL, is a passenger carrier tour and charter service that operates five motor-coaches with services in Illinois and neighboring states. The order names the company and its president, Robert L. Frazier.

Among the findings of a March 2013 compliance review were charges that the tour company “does not have systematic vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance programs in place to prevent the operation of unsafe motor coaches” according to the order.

Investigators inspected four of the company’s motor coaches and found various brake deficiencies, air suspension pressure losses, and a wiring problem that caused a two-foot spark when one motor coach was started during the inspection.

The company was also cited for failing to correct safety-related defects listed on vehicle inspection reports. At least one of the buses was kept in operation for several days despite the fact that drivers “repeatedly listed a problem with the anti-lock braking system indicator light” on the vehicle inspection reports.

The owner of Illini Tours, Robert L. Frazier, is also the owner of Lex Express, Inc./Lincolnland Express, a passenger carrier ordered shut down by FMCSA in December 2012 for multiple violations, including making false entries on vehicle maintenance records and failing to correct identified safety defects contained in drivers’ inspection reports.  The imminent hazard out-of-service order cited Frazier’s history of operating motor carriers in an unsafe manner.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed here.

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