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FMCSA Cracking Down on HOS Violators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared Evaristo S. Mora to be an imminent hazard to the public on July 3, 2018. The U.S. DOT agency ordered the New Mexico-licensed driver to cease operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) following their investigation of an accident from the previous month.

Reconstructing Events Leading Up to the Accident

On June 13, Mora was operating a tractor-trailer through an active work zone. Mora’s vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed into another tractor-trailer. The head-on incident killed the driver of the other vehicle as well as Mora’s passenger. Earlier in that same day, Mora failed a roadside safety inspection. The inspector placed Mora on a mandatory 10-hour out-of-service status for neglecting to keep any records-of-duty-status (RODS).

Inspectors also cited Mora’s vehicle for several safety violations including malfunctioning brakes and threadbare tires. Per regulation standards, Mora couldn’t operate his CMV until he addressed all repairs. Prior to the accident, Mora has repaired the tractor, but the trailer was still in need of service.

During their investigation, inspectors determined that Mora drove nonstop for 38 of the 45 hours preceding the crash. The inspectors also discovered that Mora has disabled or tampered with his electronic logging device (ELD) before several other trips as well.

The Price of Violating Safety Regulations

Disregarding a previous out-of-service order, failing to make necessary repairs, defying hours of service (HOS) regulations, and tampering with an ELD coalesced into a fatal accident. The crash occurred in the State of Kansas, which charged Mora with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. FMCSA may also bring additional charges for violating safety regulations. In addition, Mora may receive civil penalties up to $1811 for every incident of operating his CMV while under orders not to do so.

FMCSA established HOS regulations to prevent fatigued driving—a known leading cause of crashes and fatalities. Following safety regulations saves lives and keeps roads safe. Contact the experts at Encompass to learn how we can help make your trucking company safer.

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Kevin Rettberg

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