U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 30, 2000
Contact: Dave Longo
U.S. Department of
Down Indiana Trucking Firm
The U.S. Department of
Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today
announced that it has shut down an Indiana trucking firm for allowing its
drivers to falsify their logbooks, which are meant to record drive time and rest
time, thereby violating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR)
dealing with hours-of-service (HOS).
The FMCSA considered these
motor carrier violations serious enough to pose an "immediate" hazard
to public safety.
"Our number one job
is to save lives by reducing the risk of fatalities and injuries involving large
trucks," Clyde J. Hart Jr., FMCSA acting deputy administrator, said.
"We will continue to identify unsafe motor carriers and drivers and take
strict enforcement action against those carriers who refuse to assume personal
responsibility for their role in highway safety."
Inc., a motor carrier located in Jeffersonville, Ind., was issued an Operations
Out-of-Service Order (OOSO) and ordered to cease all interstate commercial
vehicle operations. FMCSA was assisted in this enforcement activity by the
Indiana Department of Revenue, which suspended Russman's vehicle
registrations, and the Indiana State Police, who physically removed the license
plates from the commercial vehicles on the carrier's site.
Indiana is a member of
FMCSA's Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM)
program. Under PRISM, motor carriers found to be unfit to operate may have their
vehicle registrations suspended for the period of time the carrier's OOSO is
All registrations of the
commercial trailers assigned to Russman Transportation are suspended until the
OOSO is rescinded by the FMCSA. In order to have the OOSO rescinded, Russman
Transportation must submit and have FMCSA accept, a safety action plan that
describes the actions the company will take to comply with the FMCSRs and
The order was issued to
Nahum (Mike) Matsa, owner of Russman Transportation, because drivers exceeded
the maximum number of operating hours allowed and falsified their drivers logs
in order to avoid recording their true hours of operation. Russman
Transportation currently employs 44 drivers.
Driver fatigue is widely
recognized by government, industry stakeholders, and highway safety advocates as
a serious highway safety problem. The U.S. Department of Transportation
estimates that approximately 800 lives are lost and more than 19,000 people are
injured in fatigue-related truck and bus crashes annually.
The Department, on April
25, 2000, proposed to improve highway safety by changing the current
hours-of-service rule, which regulates the number of hours drivers of big trucks
and buses can operate without resting. This rule was written in 1935, modified
in 1937 and revised in 1962 by the now-defunct Interstate Commerce Commission.
Little has been done to update it since. In the meantime, the number of trucks
and the vehicle miles they travel have soared.
The FMCSA continues to
seek comments on this hours-of-service rulemaking. It recently extended until
Dec. 15, 2000 the comment period for this rulemaking. Comments on this proposal
may be sent to the USDOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket FMCSA-97-2350, 400
Seventh St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. The proposal may be viewed on the
Internet after searching at
Comments also may be submitted electronically at this site.
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