Massachusetts trucking company declared hazard following fatal crash

By Land Line staff | 3/17/2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared Worcester, Mass.-based trucking company operated by John A. Robles and doing business as J and J Transportation an imminent hazard, serving the federal order on Feb. 25 to immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations.

FMCSA investigators visited J and J Transportation in early February to conduct a compliance review. According to the FMCSA, the company either refused or was unable to produce:

  • Vehicle maintenance records, including servicing schedules, or documentation otherwise indicating the company had a vehicle maintenance program
  • Drivers’ vehicle inspection reports or evidence that drivers undertook federally required pre-trip and post-trip safety inspections
  • Evidence that defects identified in past roadside inspections had been corrected before allowing that particular vehicle to be dispatched again
  • Records for a majority of its drivers specially addressing driver qualification documentation, leading J and J Transportation to dispatch multiple drivers that possessed suspended or invalid commercial driver’s licenses
  • Medical examiner’s certificates for its drivers
  • Complete records-of-duty status for its drivers or supporting documents, such as fuel and toll receipts
  • Records for a majority of its drivers documenting that they underwent mandatory pre-employment controlled substance tests before performing a safety-sensitive function, including operating a commercial motor vehicle.

A commercial truck operated by J and J was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Dec. 4, 2015, which killed the driver, the FMCSA said. The post-crash investigation by the New York State Police found the driver made multiple violations of federal hours-of-service regulations. The same driver had been cited for false records-of-duty status during roadside inspections that occurred on Oct. 20, 2015, and again on Dec. 2.

During the compliance investigation, J and J was unable to show it had taken any action following the two roadside inspections to ensure its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service and records-of-duty status regulations, the FMCSA said.

“J and J Transportation’s continued use of unsafe vehicles and its failure to adequately oversee its drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public,” the FMCSA news release said.

Violation of the order and operating without authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000, as well as a criminal penalty that includes a fine as much as $25,000 and imprisonment for no more than one year. A copy of the out-of-service order can be viewed here.

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