May 2, 2013

FMCSA declares N.Y. operator imminent hazard

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based passenger carrier Coach USA Tour Inc., USDOT No. 212153, to immediately cease all operations, declaring that its drivers and vehicles pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

Coach USA Tour Inc. operates a small fleet of tour buses and primarily provides sightseeing tours in the northeastern U.S. The company is “NOT affiliated in any way with Paramus, N.J.-based Coach USA Inc.,” according to the FMCSA.

A team of FMCSA “Quick Strike” specially trained safety investigators uncovered serious regulatory violations demonstrating Coach USA Tour Inc.’s disregard for motorcoach passenger safety. This is the third shutdown of a passenger carrier following the deployment earlier this month of more than 50 specially trained safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers.

Investigators found that the company failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations. Drivers were employed before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law.

Drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts. Investigators found that every driver employed by Coach USA Tour Inc., had falsified at least one record-of-duty status report during a one-month review period.

The company also failed to ensure its vehicles were properly and regularly inspected, repaired and maintained. Coach USA Tour Inc. required that its drivers maintain and repair vehicles without ensuring the individuals were qualified bus mechanics.

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

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