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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FMCSA Declares Kentucky Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Kentucky-licensed truck driver William R. Eichhorn to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.  Eichhorn, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the federal order on May 13, 2016.

On May 5, 2016, while operating a large commercial truck, Eichhorn was stopped by the Kentucky State Police for a roadside inspection in Laurel County, Kentucky.  While standing on the steps of the truck, a Kentucky State Police officer observed a woman seated on the passenger side of the vehicle; federal safety regulations prohibit the transportation of passengers in a commercial vehicle without written motor carrier authorization. 

The officer also observed two children, a 16-month-old child and a seven-year-old child, in the sleeper berth compartment; neither child was properly secured in a child booster seat or by a child safety restraint device. 

Upon further inspection of the truck cab, the officer discovered a gallon jug of beer along with drug paraphernalia, including a smoking pipe.  A field sobriety test was conducted at the scene, which Eichhorn failed. 

Safety inspectors also found Eichhorn to be in violation of a federal hours-of-service regulation, which are designed to prevent fatigued driving.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order to Eichhorn states that his “ … blatant disregard of (federal safety regulations) and continued disregard for the safety of the motoring public … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”  Eichhorn also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and civil penalties.  Civil penalties of up to $3,100 may be assessed for operation of a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order.  Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal charges.