This story exemplifies the importance of rigorous enforcement of federal safety rules for trucks and drivers, particularly when they are transporting hazardous materials on our interstate highways.
KAMC (TV) Investigates Uncovers String of Safety Violations Tied to Monday Truck Crash
March 26, 2013
A KAMC investigation has uncovered a string of safety violations tied to a Lubbock battery company whose truck crashed off I-27 in New Deal on Monday.
According to records obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the truck owned by Battery Solutions, Inc. has failed two of its last eight vehicle inspections, four of the last eight driver inspections and two of the last hazmat inspections.
Records of safety inspections are maintained by FMCSA for the most recent 24-month period.
A truck registered to Battery Solutions, Inc. crashed Monday afternoon while driving south on I-27 between exits 15 and 14.
The truck ran off the road, through a guard rail and landed beneath an interstate overpass. The truck was carrying car batteries, which spilled across Loop 461 in New Deal.
Hazmat crews spent more than a day cleaning up leaking battery acid at the crash site.
Inspection records maintained by FMCSA show the company–which owns just one truck and employs just one driver according to federal records–failed two hazmat inspections.
The first failure came on April 23, 2012 when the company was cited for not placing a hazmat placecard on the vehicle and not securing the packaging in the truck, among other violations.
The company was cited again on June 6, 2012 for failing to place a hazmat placecard on the outside of the truck as required by law.
Federal inspection records show the company’s driver faced a series of citations in 2011, too.
According to data from the FMCSA, the company’s driver was cited for lacking a valid license type for the vehicle being operated on July 18, 2011. The company’s driver was cited for the same violation again on December 12, 2011.
Also on December 12, 2011, the company’s driver was cited for driving the truck after being declared out of service and failing to keep a proper log of his work activity.
The company’s first driver log violation came on September 26, 2011.
An attorney for Battery Solutions called KAMC Investigates late Tuesday night to dispute the federal records.
According to the company’s attorney, the owners of Battery Solutions were unaware their company’s truck had ever failed an inspection. The attorney also said the company purchased a new truck in 2012 and replaced the driver that received citations for having an improper license in 2011.