DOT shuts down ‘chameleon’ horse transporter
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Tennessee-based truck company Terri’s Farm to immediately cease all interstate transportation services based on evidence that it was a chameleon operation for a company previously shut down by the agency.
Following a thorough review of the company’s operations, FMCSA shut down Terri’s Farm after finding that it was operating the same vehicles, and maintaining the same operational and safety management structure as former horse transporter Three Angels Farms.
On June 29, 2012, FMCSA ordered Three Angels Farms, its officers and vehicles out of service after safety investigators found multiple safety infractions that substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury to the traveling public. Among the findings, investigators discovered that the company permitted its drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles without commercial driver’s licenses and did not conduct proper controlled substances testing of its drivers. Additionally, during the past eight months, the former Three Angels Farms had two accidents involving poorly maintained vehicles and fatigued or disqualified drivers, which resulted in the deaths of four horses.
In keeping with the department’s commitment to safety, on May 31, as the result of a year-long investigation, FMCSA announced that it had shut down 26 commercial motorcoach operations, declaring them imminent hazards to public safety. This action was the largest single crackdown in the agency’s history. Over the last several years the Department of Transportation has taken aggressive efforts to strengthen motorcoach safety and enforcement, doubling the number of inspections of the nation’s estimated 4,000 passenger bus companies.