The Pennsylvania bus company violated hours-of-service regulations and drug and alcohol testing regulations
WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 27, 2011. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Double Happyness Travel, Inc., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., to immediately cease all intrastate and interstate passenger service declaring the carrier an “imminent hazard” to public safety. This order follows an extensive review of the company’s operations, which found multiple hours-of-service, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substance and alcohol testing violations.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “During this busy holiday travel season, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect bus passengers and all motorists from unsafe bus companies.”
Double Happyness Travel was immediately shut down after FMCSA safety investigators found the company failed to comply with hours-of-service, records of duty and driver qualification requirements. Double Happyness Travel provided service between New York City and Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore, Md.; and Wilmington, Del.
“FMCSA will continue to do everything within its current legal authority to remove unsafe bus operators like this one from our roadways,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.
Before buying a ticket or hiring a bus company for group travel, consumers are encouraged to review the Department of Transportation’s “Think Safety: Every Trip, Every Time” pre-trip safety checklist. The list helps consumers review a bus company’s safety record, safety rating and DOT’s operating authority. The checklist is available online at FMCSA’s Passenger Bus Safety Web site: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx. FMCSA encourages consumers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database.
Over the past five years, FMCSA has doubled the number of bus inspections and comprehensive safety reviews of the nation’s estimated 4,000 passenger bus companies. Roadside motorcoach inspections have jumped nearly 100 percent, from 12,991 in 2005 to 25,705 in 2010, while compliance reviews are up 128 percent, from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010. In addition, FMCSA has initiated a greater number of enforcement cases against unsafe passenger carriers under the current administration: from 36 in 2008 to 44 in 2010.
Additionally, over the last two years DOT has taken action to reduce distracted driving by drivers of commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses. In January 2010, FMCSA banned texting by commercial drivers, and in November 2011 the agency prohibited commercial drivers from reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Drivers who violate these restrictions would face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and revocation of their commercial driver’s license (CDL) for multiple offenses. Additionally, states would suspend a driver’s CDL after two or more violations of any state law against hand-held cell phone use.