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February 19, 2013

FMCSA declares Atlanta operator an imminent hazard

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Atlanta-based Top Class Bus Co. LLC, to immediately cease all passenger transportation services for blatantly disregarding federal safety regulations and putting the company’s own drivers, passengers and the motoring public at risk.

The imminent hazard/operations-out-of-service order issued by FMCSA prohibits Top Class Bus Co. from any type of commercial passenger service and it blocks the unapproved use of its buses by another company or any driver.

“Bus companies that operate outside the law, putting lives at risk, will be immediately taken off the road and closed for business,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

During an unannounced, four-day investigation, a team of FMCSA safety investigators found that Top Class, which operates fixed-route passenger service primarily between Atlanta and New York City, failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with drivers’ hours-of-service requirements.

FMCSA’s investigators also found that Top Class failed to comply with records-of-duty status requirements, qualification requirements, and controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements.

FMCSA safety investigators further found that Top Class permitted its drivers to falsify records-of-duty status in an attempt to conceal hours-of-service violations.  The company owners were also found to have ignored critical vehicle equipment deficiencies identified by their drivers on required daily inspection reports.

For a copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, click here.

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