FMCSA Declares Kentucky Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Kentucky-licensed truck driver Scotty R. Kinmon to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Kinmon was served the federal order on December 4, 2017.
On August 18, 2017, Kinmon, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was operating a large commercial truck westward on Interstate 74 in Hamilton County, Ohio, when his vehicle slowed down to the point where it stopped and began to roll backwards. The tractor-trailer rolled backwards into adjacent travel lanes, jackknifed, striking the guardrail before coming to an uncontrolled stop with the trailer positioned perpendicular across all the westbound travel lanes. Nearby motorists found Kinmon unresponsive in his truck cab.
When law enforcement officers and ambulance personnel arrived on the scene, Kinmon was treated for an overdose of a Schedule I controlled substance and transported to a hospital. Federal and State regulations prohibit a driver who uses a Schedule I controlled substance from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Three days earlier, on August 15, 2017, while operating a commercial vehicle in Summit County, Ohio, Kinmon was stopped by a police officer and cited for impaired driving. Kinmon failed to appear before the Ohio court on the traffic citation and an arrest warrant was issued.
In late July 2017, police officers in Cincinnati, Ohio, responding to an emergency call, found Kinmon slumped over in the cab of his commercial vehicle. They subsequently determined Kimon had overdosed of a Schedule I controlled substance. He was arrested and later found guilty of disorderly conduct by an Ohio court.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Kinmon’s continued operation of a CMV “… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
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 punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $1,811 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.
Kimon also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the Agency’s safety regulations.