January 9, 2013

FMCSA orders Canadian operator to cease U.S. operations

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered the Canadian bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Coquitlam, B.C., to cease U.S. operations and revoked the firm’s authority to provide passenger service within the country.

As part of the investigation into the Dec. 30, 2012, crash of a Mi Joo Tour & Travel bus in Oregon, FMCSA investigators conducted an investigation regarding the company’s compliance with all U.S.-mandated safety regulations, including record keeping of its drivers’ hours of driving time, rest breaks and off-duty periods. That investigation found that Mi Joo Tour & Travel failed to take basic measures to ensure that its drivers are properly rested for safe vehicle operations and has established a pattern and practice of scheduling and dispatching drivers on trips without regard to hours of service requirements.

The ongoing investigation further found that the company did not have safety management practices for monitoring and controlling its drivers.

Moreover, on December 30, Mi Joo Tour & Travel allowed its driver, Haeng Kyu Hwang, to drive after having been on duty for well beyond the 70 hour maximum hours of service permitted under federal regulations. That same date, Hwang’s vehicle was involved in a crash that resulted in nine passenger fatalities and 39 passenger injuries. The on-scene investigation of that crash is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Oregon State Police.

Mi Joo Tour & Travel provides occasional charter bus service in the Pacific Northwest but has never provided general passenger service with fixed schedules on roadways within the U.S.

FMCSA previously cited Mi Joo Tour & Travel in 2011 for failure to meet certain U.S. drug and alcohol testing requirements. The firm was subsequently fined and required to submit a corrective action plan to FMCSA officials.

Initially, Mi Joo Tour & Travel did not pay the fine and subsequently had its U.S. Department of Transportation operating authority suspended for approximately two months. Later, the federally imposed fine was paid and the company’s authority to operate within the U.S. was reinstated. In 2010, the company was also fined for separate violations involving drug and alcohol testing of its drivers.

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

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  • Roy P[ January 10th, 2013 @ 12:28pm ]

    As an ex Bus driver, with over 3 million miles Safe driving miles with no accidents, here is my take. Why would a driver hang around driving passsengers, for very little, when they could drive truck full of toilet paper making over $50,000 a year. Does not a live passenger have more value than a role of toilet paper? It DOES come down to money. Pay the driver more than a driver with toilet paper. Period. Just ask anyone of the 9 passengers that were killed in this accident, the Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Son, Daughter, and on and on. If a Bus company does not have the backing to keep the Bus in safe condition, and to pay the driver more to haul live passengers than to haul a role of toilet paper. DO NOT GIVE AUTHORITY TO DO SO. Just one 3 million mile driver's take.

  • Keith Charles Edwards[ January 12th, 2013 @ 8:37am ]

    I agree with Roy P. Human life is valued disgracefully.

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