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FMCSA declares two Texas motor carriers to be a public safety hazard

Nov. 23, 2022
Two Texas motor carriers were declared public safety hazards after they reportedly ignored federal out-of-service placements and violations.

No fleet wants to be placed out of service during roadside inspections, both for the sake of safety and for the impact downtime can have on a bottom line. But despite the inconvenience, disregarding these violations can have much larger consequences if ignored.

As of Nov. 11, 2022, Texas Interstate Express LLC and PAC Express LLC were both delineated as an ‘imminent hazard’ and ordered to cease all inter and intrastate operations for disregarding out-of-service orders from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

These measures fall on the more extreme end of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) out-of-service orders, which placed 13.3% of vehicles that they examined out of service during 2022’s Brake Safety week, while CVSA’s International Roadcheck put 23% of the vehicles they inspected out of service in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico combined.

When a fleet refuses to comply with out of service violations and Federal imminent hazard orders, they may receive civil penalties of $29,893 per violation, as well as civil penalties of at least $11,956 for operating without authority registration, and over $16,864 for operating a commercial vehicle without official registration.

Texas Interstate Express, and by extension, PAC Express may experience some of these penalties, as PAC Express began operation as soon as the FMCSA began investigating the former company. Between both organizations, the FMCSA reported that they experienced over double the national average of vehicle out-of-service rates, and 10 times the national average driver out-of-service rates. This was largely due to the companies failing to produce proper documentation for the compliance investigation and violating the following:

  • Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing (49 CFR Part 382)
  • Commercial Driver’s License Standards (49 CFR Part 383)
  • Driver Qualification (49 CFR Part 391)
  • Parts and Accessories Needed for Safe Operations (49 CFR Part 393)
  • Hours of Service of Drivers (49 CFR Part 395)
  • Vehicle Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (49 CFR Part 396)

Among these violations, neither company provided a program to ensure their vehicles were properly inspected or repaired.

“[Texas Interstate Express’ and PAC Express’] avoidance of compliance with the [safety regulations] and the Out-of-Service Order substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for [their] drivers and the motoring public if [their] operations are not discontinued immediately,” stated the FMCSA in the hazard out-of-service order. 

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Fleet Maintenance staff

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