Wisconsin Semi Truck Company Shut Down to Prevent Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

FMCSA finds Wisconsin-based truck company to be imminent safety hazard

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Wisconsin-based truck company WTSA US Express to cease all transportation services, based on serious safety violations that posed an imminent hazard to public safety. On May 14, 2012, FMCSA initiated an investigation of WTSA that found violations of federal law “so widespread as to demonstrate a continuing and flagrant general disregard for compliance with the FMCSRs” (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations). FMCSA further stated:

Indeed, WTSA’s operations are reckless, with its management unable to demonstrate basic safety management controls despite repeated investigations and enforcement actions.

FMCSA Violations Leading to Shut Down of Wisconsin Semi Truck Company

The FMCSA investigation found the following violations:

  1. Failure to monitor truck drivers’ hours of service (HOS) to ensure that its drivers do not violate the HOS regulations, resulting in drivers operating commercial motor vehicles at a time when they may be fatigued because of driving in excess of the maximum driving time, driving after the maximum on-duty time, and/or other HOS regulations;
  2. Failure to follow FMCSA mandated drug and alcohol testing requirements, including failure to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol testing; and
  3. Failure to follow FMCSA driver qualification requirements to ensure that its drivers are qualified to operate its commercial motor vehicles.

Perhaps most egregiously, WTSA openly defied 2 state-issued out-of-service orders and permitted a driver to continue operating commercial motor vehicles after he was cited for transporting alcohol in the cab of his vehicle and for consuming alcohol within 4 hours before operating a commercial motor vehilce. The same driver operated WTSA tractor trailers with an invalid (revoked or disqualified) commercial driver’s license and without a valid medical certificate. Another driver also operated WTSA semi trailers with an invalid (revoked or disqualified) commercial driver’s license.

In a May 30, 2012 sworn statement provided to the Wisconsin Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, WTSA admitted:

  1. WTSA was not enrolled in a drug and alcohol testing program.
  2. Drivers Tadeusz Wrzesniewski and Adrian Wrzesniewski were not pre-employment alcohol and drug tested or enrolled in random alcohol and drug testing programs.
  3. WTSA did not require drivers to possess CDL’s before operating commercial motor vehicles.
  4. Drivers Tadeusz Wrzesniewski and Adrian Wrzesniewski did not possess valid CDLs.
  5. WTSA did not require drivers to be medically certified as qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles.
  6. Drivers Tadeusz Wrzesniewski and Adrian Wrzesniewski did not possess valid medical certificates.
  7. WTSA did not ensure that drivers accurately and fully complete their daily records of duty status and submit them to the carrier within 13 days of completion.

FMCSA concluded, and I concur, that “WTSA’s continued and blatant disregard for the FMCSRs establishes an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly risk for its drivers and the motoring public.”

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Category: Accidents
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