The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered the Canadian bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Coquitlam, British Columbia, to cease U.S. operations and revoked the firm’s authority to provide passenger service within the United States.
“The safety of all travelers on our highways and roads remains our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will move quickly to shut down bus companies that do not operate safely.”
As part of the investigation into the December 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, Mr. 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 United States.
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 United States 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 at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/Mi-Joo-Tour-and-Travel-IH-Order.pdf.
Source: News Release, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Public Affairs