Naperville, Illinois-based DND International, Inc. has been ordered to immediately shut down after an investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revealed it was an imminent hazard to public safety. Characterized as widespread and serious, the violations of federal regulations by DND International came into focus after a Jan. 27 crash when an Illinois Tollway worker was killed and an Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured.
In that crash, Renato V. Velasquez, a driver for DND International, crashed into two fully illuminated stationary vehicles causing the death and injuries. He had been on duty for 26 hours straight, driving 1,000 miles with just 3.5 to 5.5 hours of break time. Federal regulations do not allow commercial truck drivers to drive for more than 11 hours each shift or remain on duty after 14 hours of work. Documentation, such as receipts for tolls and fuel, are required to be retained by drivers and carriers to use as supporting documentation for these regulations.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated, “Federal rules limiting the hours that commercial truck and bus drivers can be on the job serve to protect everyone traveling on our highways and roads. Companies that sidestep and disregard these regulations and needlessly expose the motoring public to harm will not be allowed to operate.”
Velasquez was banned from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce on Feb. 11, following the Jan. 27 crash and was also charged with multiple felony violations. A subsequent FMCSA investigation of DND International operations compared seven company drivers’ toll transaction data with samples of their hours-of-service records. Records had been falsified by all seven drivers, and this was deemed by the FMCSA to be a serious pattern of falsifications in the company.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois praised the FMCSA’s action.
“The investigation confirmed my suspicions that the problems with this trucking company are putting travelers at risk every day. I am happy that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took swift action to take these trucks off the road. This type of strong and vigorous oversight must continue in order to make certain we are doing everything possible to prevent this kind of dangerous driving behavior.”
So far this year, the FMCSA has shut down nine carriers and four drivers. “The constant focus of every driver, particularly operators of very large commercial vehicles, must be on safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “Companies and commercial drivers that knowingly jeopardize public safety by disregarding common-sense regulations that prevent driver fatigue will not be tolerated and will be banned from continuing their dangerous an illegal behavior.”