Regulations

Feds Fine Illegal Bus Operator For Fatal Crash

Posted on June 30, 2010

A federal investigation shows an Arizona tour company responsible for a fatal bus crash in March has 78 safety violations.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a notice of claim charging Cayetano Martinez, owner of Van Nuys, Calif.-based Tierra Santa, Inc. bus company, with multiple federal motor carrier safety violations.

The $72,760 in fines resulted from an investigation of a fatal crash in Phoenix, Arizona on March 5, 2010 involving a bus operated by Tierra Santa, Inc. Six passengers were killed and 16 others were injured in the crash.

"The FMCSA has worked tirelessly to bring this civil penalty case forward," FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said. "We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent illegal carriers from operating and placing our road users at risk."

In the notice of claim, FMCSA charged Martinez with 78 violations of 13 separate motor carrier safety regulations. It also identifies the four separate company names Martinez allegedly used to illegally operate and evade previous orders from FMCSA to cease all interstate and international passenger carrier transportation.

The violations include:

• 19 counts of operating without federal authority

• 21 counts of operating without required minimum insurance

• 24 counts of operating in violation of a previous FMCSA order to cease operations;

• Violation of alcohol and controlled substance testing requirements

• Violation of driver qualification requirements

• Violation of hours of service requirements

• Violation of vehicle inspection and maintenance requirements.

To contest the notice of claim or any of the violations, Martinez must submit a written reply to FMCSA on or before July 12, 2010.

Source: FMCSA

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