FMCSA shuts down Massachusetts limo service for safety violations

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Wilmington, Mass.-based limousine service has been ordered to cease operations after a federal regulatory agency declared its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

Lynette’s Limousine Service is now the 15th business to be ordered out-of-service by FMCSA since the deployment in April 2013 of more than 50 “Operation Quick Strike” safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers. Lynette’s Limousine Service operates a fleet of 20 vehicles consisting of limousines, stretch limousines, specialty vans, a motor coach and other vehicles for hire in interstate commerce.

According to the agency’s report, an investigation was launched into the limo service on June 25. The carrier was identified for investigation by the Quick Strike task force based on its 65.2 percent score in the Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). A score of 65.2 percent means roughly two-thirds of similar motor carriers have demonstrated better on-road compliance.

FMCSA inspected six vehicles in Lynette’s fleet and found 26 vehicle defects, including defective emergency exits, defective safety glass, flat tire, inadequate brakes, tire tread depth and broken rear steps attached to a vehicle using bungee cords. Three of the six vehicles were placed out of service.

Other violations found include no vehicle inspection and maintenance program, failure to properly oversee drivers’ compliance with drug and alcohol testing and hours of service requirements, and dispatching vehicles that have failed annual state safety inspections.

The FMCSA order cites two examples of Lynette’s dispatching vehicles that had failed the annual state inspection, including a 2008 Escalade 16-passenger stretch limo. The Escalade failed a state safety inspection in 2011, and the business produced no records showing later annual inspections were conducted. The vehicle was last dispatched on June 13 of this year.

The shutdown order announced today follows an investigation by a team of specially trained FMCSA safety investigators established in April to conduct intensified, “quick strike” investigations of high-risk passenger carriers.

In the past three months, FMCSA has also revoked the operating authority of nine additional bus companies following compliance review investigations that resulted in an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.

Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 22 bus companies and nine trucking companies. The agency has also declared seven commercial driver's license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed here.
A Wilmington, Mass.-based limousine service has been ordered to cease operations after a federal regulatory agency declared its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

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