FMCSA's 'Operation Quick Strike' shuts down another passenger carrier

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 6/4/2013

A South Carolina passenger carrier has been ordered to cease operations immediately after federal regulators declared its vehicle and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

Destiny Tours, of Lake City, SC, and its owner, Cornelius Scott, are named in an imminent hazard order issued Monday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

FMCSA investigators launched an inquiry into Destiny Tours on May 6. The company operated a charter service primarily in the southeastern United States.

According to the investigation, the company falsified an inspection document and failed to regularly inspect, repair or maintain its single motor coach as required by federal safety regulations. No evidence was found that showed that the vehicle’s emergency exits, including push-out windows, had ever been tested.

In addition, investigators found that the owners of Destiny Tours failed to monitor and ensure that their drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations. Drivers were employed before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law. Drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts.

FMCSA investigators also discovered that Destiny Tours had been transporting passengers in violation of a federal cease operations order issued to its owners in November 2010. Consequently, Destiny Tours had been operating without required USDOT operating authority.

This is the 11th out-of-service order issued by FMCSA since the deployment in April 1, 2013, of more than 50 specially trained “Operation Quick Strike” safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers. In the past six weeks, FMCSA investigators have issued out-of-service orders to bus companies in the District of Columbia, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Mississippi, New York and Utah. Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 18 bus companies and eight trucking companies. The agency has also declared six commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.

FMCSA also issued an imminent hazard order on May 1 to an Ohio-based company also called Destiny Tours, but an agency spokesman said the two companies are not connected.

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