Company ordered to immediately cease transporting passengers in identified vehicles
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered five vehicles operated by Atlanta-based Greene Classic Limousines to be placed immediately out of service. Specially trained FMCSA investigators found that the vehicles had such significant structural and mechanical defects that they pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
“Our investigators are sending a message to motor carriers across the country as part of our strikeforce to improve bus safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We demand to have safe motor carriers, safe commercial drivers and safe commercial vehicles. We will not compromise on safety.”
As part of FMCSA’s continuing “Operation Quick Strike” nationwide sweep of “high-risk” passenger carriers, federal investigators found that Greene Classic Limousines was operating five of 16 vehicles in dangerous conditions that exceeded the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) limit. Investigators found that the consistent operation of these vehicles above the GVWR caused damage to both structural and mechanical control components that could result in a crash.
“What a bus or truck looks like on the outside does not reveal its mechanical safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Failing to adhere to manufacturers’ specifications and disregarding maintenance and repair can be as dangerous as speeding, texting while driving, or any unsafe driver behavior. Our Quick Strike teams will continue their intensified scrutiny of passenger carrier operations, their drivers and their vehicles.”
During their investigation, FMCSA investigators found the company failed to follow federal requirements for the inspection, repair and maintenance of the five identified vehicles. Investigators also found the company failed to consistently check drivers’ vehicle inspection reports. As a result of these deficiencies in its maintenance program, the company allowed the five vehicles to deteriorate to the point that they needed to be put out of operation immediately.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/GreeneClassicLimousines.pdf.
As part of FMCSA’s work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company’s safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA’s multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA’s consumer complaint web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card. For more information visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.
Source: FMCSA News