FMCSA declares Laredo-based trucking company an imminent hazard

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 9/24/2013

A Laredo, Texas, trucking company has been ordered to shut down Tuesday after a team of federal safety regulators declared it an imminent hazard to public safety due to non-compliance with hours of service regulations.

The company, Redco Transport Ltd., operates 112 general freight hauling trucks.

In the shutdown order, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration writes that the basis for the imminent hazard decree is that Redco “fails to ensure that its drivers comply with hours of service and records of duty status requirements.” Those failures reportedly include failing to limit the maximum driving time and on-duty hours, widespread falsification of records of duty statuses, and driving in excess of allowable limits.

An investigation into the company began following a fatality crash on Aug. 12, in which a truck operated by Redco crashed into a van stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 20 in Louisiana. Three people, including the truck driver, were killed. The crash was Redco’s fourth recordable crash in six months, and the 12th crash in two years, according to FMCSA’s out-of-service order.

According to the order, a compliance review by FMCSA found “significant falsification” of roughly 25 percent of the records of duty status reviewed. Some of those violations indicated that drivers were driving in excess of 30 hours without a qualifying 10-hour break.

Investigators also reportedly found the company had “routinely failed to ensure its drivers comply with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours,” and that Redco failed to ensure its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations, and failed to ensure its drivers were properly qualified. 

Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 10 trucking companies and 25 bus companies. The agency has also declared seven commercial driver's license holders to be imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.

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

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