U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Friday, May 14, 2004
Contact: Bill MacLeod, 202-366-8810
U.S. Transportation Department Shuts Down Unsafe Illinois Bus Company
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced it has forced Sunlight Coach, Inc., a Summit, IL bus company, out of business alleging that Sunlight was operating unsafe motor coaches and did not comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
FMCSA's out-of-service order instructed Sunlight to cease all interstate commercial vehicle operations. "Our main goal is to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing crashes involving large trucks and buses," said FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg. "We will continue to identify and take enforcement action against those carriers posing the greatest potential safety risk that refuse to assume personal responsibility for their role in highway safety."
Specifically, the FMCSA order said that Sunlight Coach, Inc., was operating commercial motor coaches in an unsafe condition, had an inadequate maintenance program, and showed a general disregard for complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including the hours-of-service requirements. On April 22, 2004 a Sunlight Coach, Inc., 55-passenger motor coach crashed into a residence and was found during a crash investigation to have defective brakes. Further investigation discovered that the motor coach company's maintenance program was ineffective.
The FMCSA Illinois Division discovered numerous safety violations in the course of its safety investigation of Sunlight, including failure to implement a random controlled substance and alcohol testing program; operating a passenger carrying vehicle without adequate levels of insurance; hours of service violations; and serious maintenance violations. Based on these findings, Sunlight's motor carrier operations were determined to pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
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