WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Cherryville, N.C.-based trucking company, owned by Rocky Lee Brown and doing business as Moonlight Express, USDOT No. 2403330, to immediately cease operations, declaring the company to be an imminent hazard to public safety. Moonlight Express operates a small fleet of trucks transporting general freight.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to use every means available to prevent unsafe commercial carriers and drivers from recklessly endangering the public.”
An investigation of Moonlight Express conducted by FMCSA safety investigators in October found that the company owner, Rocky Lee Brown, had failed to comply with multiple regulations ranging from the safety of his vehicles to the proper monitoring of his drivers.
The five trucks operated by Moonlight Express failed to meet minimum safety standards, and the company did not systematically inspect, repair or maintain its vehicles as required by federal safety regulations.
Investigators found that the company failed to ensure its drivers were properly qualified. On multiple instances, a driver with a suspended commercial driver’s license had been allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The company did not ensure that its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours.
The investigation also revealed that Moonlight Express had failed to comply with federally required random testing of drivers for controlled substances and alcohol use. Drivers had been dispatched before negative pre-employment controlled substance test results had been received as mandated by federal statute.
“We will continue to have zero tolerance for commercial truck and bus operators and their drivers who choose to ignore critical safety regulations that protect every traveler on our roadways,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Knowingly operating an unsafe vehicle or failing to comply with driver safety regulations puts the entire motoring public at risk.”
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 11 trucking companies and 26 bus companies. The agency has also declared 10 commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at:www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/MoonlightExpress.pdf