Continuing their crackdown, federal officials have shut down a second discount Chinatown bus company for alleged safety violations. And U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) didn’t mince any words about it.
In a press release Friday, DOT said it had ordered Ming An Inc. of New York City closed down because it was “an imminent hazard to public safety.”
A week before, in a similar move, DOT closed another low-cost interstate bus carrier, Boston-based Fung Wah Bus Transportation.
In terms of Ming An, in a statement U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We are committed to removing unsafe bus and truck companies from our highways and roads. We will not let up and we will not slow down. Companies that ignore our safety regulations will not be tolerated.”
DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) investigated Ming An’s operations and vehicles and “concluded that the carrier operated in blatant disregard for federal safety regulations,” the DOT press release said.
“Investigators found that Ming An failed to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol testing and allowed unqualified drivers to operate its vehicles in an unsafe manner with its drivers receiving numerous citations for speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over posted speed limits,” the release said.
And that’s not all.
FMCSA also said that Ming An didn’t require it drivers to maintain log books or conduct vehicle safety inspections, as required by federal regulations. Investigators also found that the company lacked a systematic vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance program.
As well, inspections of Ming An’s buses and vans found that many had been modified with after-market seats in violation of federal safety requirements.
The FMCSA order shutting Ming An also said that the violations and conditions of operations substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death to Ming An’s drivers, passengers and the motoring public.
“This is a company that operates unsafely,” FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said in a statement. “It frequently uses part-time, unqualified drivers, and often ignores basic safety maintenance and operating standards.”
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/Ming-An-IH.pdf.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
firstname.lastname@example.org :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.