The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Boston-based passenger carrier Lucky River Transportation Corp., which does business as Lucky Star, to immediately cease all operations, declaring that its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
The action is part of FMCSA's "Operation Quick Strike," an intensified investigation of high-risk passenger carriers that began last April. Federal investigators found that Lucky Star's fleet of 21 motorcoaches did not meet minimum safety standards as the company failed to systematically and properly inspect, repair or maintain the vehicles.
Investigators also found that the owners of Lucky Star failed to monitor and ensure its drivers complied 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.
"Federal and state commercial vehicle inspectors and safety investigators, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, are focused every day on protecting the traveling public," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "We cannot allow unsafe bus and truck companies and commercial drivers on our highways and roads to endanger innocent lives."
Lucky Star represents the 13th out-of-service order issued by FMCSA since the deployment on April 1, 2013, of more than 50 specially trained "Operation Quick Strike" safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers. In the past seven weeks, FMCSA investigators have issued out-of-service orders to bus companies in the District of Columbia, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina and Utah.
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 20 bus companies and eight trucking companies. The agency has also declared six commercial driver's license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.