The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared N.C.-based ATA Trail Inc. an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the passenger van company to immediately cease all transportation services.
FMCSA issued an imminent hazard out-of-service order against ATA Trail following a comprehensive review of the company's compliance with federal safety standards.
"Our message is clear. Unsafe buses and drivers have no place on our nation's roads," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
ATA Trail was immediately shut down after FMCSA safety investigators found the company in violation of multiple federal standards, including using drivers without the required medical qualifications, violating hours-of-service rules for drivers, operating without the proper insurance, and using vehicles that were not regularly inspected and repaired.
FMCSA issued the shutdown order following a nationwide crackdown on unsafe bus operators, during which federal, state and local police conducted 8,300 surprise safety inspections of motorcoaches, tour buses, school buses and other commercial passenger vehicles over a two-week period. The unannounced inspections were part of FMCSA's annual National Passenger Carrier Inspection Strike Force, which resulted in 902 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from our roadways.
In addition to the unannounced strike force inspections, FMCSA and state safety investigators initiated 350 on-site comprehensive safety compliance reviews on commercial passenger bus companies. These reviews ensure that a passenger carrier is following federal motor carrier safety standards and determine the carriers' safety rating.