Another voice for FMCSA audit: Senator wants review of agency’s investigative practices

| April 10, 2014

Sen. Dick Durbin has asked the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General to audit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s investigative practices, following the January crash that left an Illinois tollway worker dead and a state trooper seriously injured. 

Related

NTSB says investigations ‘raise serious questions’ about FMCSA, asks for audit of agency

In light of four deadly crashes that it has investigated within the past year, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended to DOT head Anthony Foxx that FMCSA be audited on its oversight capabilities of motor carriers and trucking companies.

In August, FMCSA ordered that DND International be investigated for safety violations, but investigation of the carrier did not begin until after the fatal January crash. FMCSA subsequently ordered the driver involved in the accident and the carrier to shut down. 

Durbin writes in his letter to Inspector General Calvin L. Scovell III that DND  had “a long history of violating safety rules,” and wants the IG “to ensure motor carriers flagged for investigation are being investigated in a timely manner.” 

Durbin’s not the only one to call out the agency recently for its investigative measures: The National Transportation Safety Board in November recommended to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx that the agency be audited for its oversight capabilities. 

Durbin noted NTSB’s findings in his letter, too. NTSB said in November “serious questions” were raised about the agency’s oversight of motor carriers and safety after it investigated four accidents in which collectively 25 people were killed and 83 others injured. 

Related

FMCSA shuts down fleet behind driver said to have been on duty 35 hours

Illinois-based carrier DND International has been ordered to shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after the agency said its investigators found "widespread, serious violations" of hours of service regulations and with falsifying logs.

According to an April 9 article in the Chicago Tribune, the agency did bring some enforcement action against DND in 2011. According to records obtained by the Tribune, though, FMCSA closed the case “without forcing the carrier to resolve numerous safety deficiencies.” 

The DND driver involved in the crash was said to have been on duty for nearly 30 hours — or more — with only a few hours of rest. He has been charged with multiple felonies.

  • Mike Smith

    How many truck drivers a year cause deadly accidents? Who are the drivers causing deadly?

  • Beam Hauler

    The FMCSA is out of control they just kepp pushing more and more regulations down our throats when they don’t even get one thing fixed! We have got to keep the phone lines burning up to Congress to let them know we are not going to let them keep trying to take our lively hoods away from hard working American truck drivers!

  • Trucking

    Why do they think audits change safety at all?? More paper work shuffling changes nothing. Just more wasted time and resources.

  • USMC 69-75

    Usually it’s the 4 wheelers…..but all the regulations in the world won’t prevent a single “ACCIDENT”…that is why they are called accidents. Stop texting, stop letting known DUI offenders drive, get those non paying death trap “MOPEDS” (whiskey scooters) off the roads, etc.etc.etc……per mile the trucking industry is the safest, but most over taxed and regulated industry out there! But when I see truckers texting going down the road, makes me wander where some of these drivers brains are at, asking for more regulations because of stupidity! Don’t be surprised if you get called on the carpet…..I will turn you into your company! We need more people doing that as well, if we don’t police ourselves, then big brother will…..OH JOY!

  • Eva Surin Kunovszky

    we just had an audit .they find us for not having paperwork ok, but did not ask about how many accident our company had during our 20 years/none/that is not a concern of them . only how much fine they can gave you for the missing papers. shame!!

  • bigtimetrucker

    FMCSA needs to change their focus from misapplying the laws for the sake of “meeting” the “rule of three” under MAP-21, and thereby putting honest, decent americans out of work, to actually figuring out what is unsafe and what is not and enforcing accordingly. Problem is most special agents are not competent enough to know the difference.

  • guest

    They can BET there are going to be ALOT MORE accidents as they continue to drive experienced truckers OUT of the industry. The cement truck driver…..the Fed Ex in Calif that killed 10 and injured 30??? Enjoy the Carnage Anne Ferro. You went to tinkering with trucking and seem to think ANY jackass is a capable Trucker and there is an abundance of Grown Men who want to be told what to do by overbearing Cops and Legislators??? truck accidents will CONTINUE to shock America asthis crap “program” unfolds………you will see how EASY it is to drive truck you rediculous old biddy.

  • safetygirl

    Even law enforcement seems to understand problems with the system here in our corner of the country. We had an accident in which a confused motorist pulled out in front of our tractor trailer on a highway and sustaining serious injury. The driver was tested, equipment inspected & passed and other party admitted fault but because it was an accident with serious injuries the law calls for immediate audit. Those crash requirements along with maintenance grouping which puts not so serious ‘load’, ‘overweight on axles’ & so forth in with serious mechanical deficiencies bringing carriers up and over the maintenance cut off rather quickly are running the auditors ragged. Not to mention taking up precious office time so we cant focus on our regular jobs, checking paperwork, running random testing and collecting driver files.

  • Jim Kennedy

    Y haven’t the States and Canada started more investigation into the huge amounts of Automobile deaths across both countries? Why is this senator trying to stir up a hornet’s nest when the real issue isn’t with truckers. I understand that truckers can cause accidents and are also on the receiving end of accidents. BUT that still doesn’t explain why senators and such are not cracking the whip when it comes to decreasing the amount of automobile deaths across the country. Using the US Department of Transportations own numbers, why is 30 to 40 thousand automobile deaths per year being allowed to continue over the last ten years and then some. Hello? Hello? I’m feel so alone here….

  • george

    Most of the lawmakers can’t even spell truck. You can’t send a trainee to be a trainer and exoect good results. A truck drivers knows what he/she is capable of.
    Now these companies hire anything with a heartbeat because the FMCSA has run all the owner operators and small fleet owners out of business.
    I’ve seen lots of changes and new regulations in the past 35 years of trucking.
    They have regulated us to death.
    I know when I need to rest
    They are not intelligent enough to realize its experience that creates a safe work environment not rest and regulations
    Let those of us who know how work and take care of our families and leave us alone

  • Mike Smith

    Agreed