The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration takes recently forced Aurora, Colorado-based trucking company, Sorbon Transport, to shut down after deeming it an imminent hazard to public safety.
According to the department, a recent federal investigation revealed major safety and maintenance violations at the trucking company. The FMCSA found that Sorbon has “no effective maintenance program” and that it placed a tractor trailer auto hauler on the road that was “in such disrepair that the vehicle was inoperable with the brakes connected.”
“Safety is our highest priority and companies that knowingly put the motoring public at risk will be immediately shut down,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to aggressively enforce federal safety regulations and block unsafe commercial drivers, trucks and buses from operating on our roadways.
Earlier this month and without prior notice, FMCSA safety investigators launched an investigation into Sorbon Transport and found that it:
- Failed to systematically inspect, repair, and maintain its commercial vehicles: Sorbon Transport reportedly failed to provide vehicle inspection reports or evidence of a maintenance program for the company. During a roadside inspection of one of the company’s vehicles in early February, eight separate out-of-service violations, and six other maintenance-related violations, were identified. Days later, a different company vehicle was subjected to a roadside inspection in which two out-of-service violations, and 12 other maintenance-related violations, were identified.
- Failed to ensure that its drivers complied with hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, including limitations on daily driving and maximum on-duty hours: FMSCA officials stated that Sorbon Transport could only provide limited driver duty records covering a single trip; those records for that single trip reflected multiple hours-of-service violations.
- Failed to ensure drivers were qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle: FMSCA officials stated that Sorbon Transport was unable to provide records related to controlled substances and alcohol testing requirements.
Sorbon Transport must cease all commercial motor vehicle operations, including all interstate and intrastate transportation, from all dispatching locations or terminals. FMCSA also simultaneously revoked the carrier’s federal operating authority and suspended its USDOT number.
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.
“Companies that ignore basic safety maintenance of their equipment, disregard hours of service requirements, and use unqualified drivers have no place on our highways and roads,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “FMCSA staff across the country are dedicated to protecting innocent lives by preventing crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles from ever occurring.”
A Transport Topics reporter contacted the trucking company after the story broke. Amazingly, the owner reportedly stated that he was unaware that his company had been placed out of service, which begs the question whether the company still has trucks on the road.
The truck accident attorneys at Leizerman & Associates LLC commend the FMSCA for shutting down this unsafe trucking company. Allowing it to continue to operate is not fair to the many motor carriers who follow the rules and have to compete with companies like Sorbon.
If you or someone you know have been injured by a commercial truck, call us today to learn how we possibly can help with your case. Consultations are free. You can reach us at 1-800-628-4500