The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared two truck drivers imminent hazards to public safety and ordered them to not operate any commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.
The moves continue an enhanced enforcement posture by the agency for the past two years to put dangerous motor carriers and drivers out of business, but critics say the penalties still come too late and should be issued sooner based on available information before accidents occur.
Florida truck driver Devon House was ordered off the road after three separate alcohol-related violations operating a commercial vehicle the past six months.
The FMCSA also ordered Ricky Hatfield and his Tazewell, Tenn.-based company Hatfield Trucking to cease operation. On Nov. 19, his 18-wheeler crossed onto the shoulder on Interstate 81 in Franklin County, Pa., collided with a car and fatally struck two pedestrians. After colliding with a dump truck, his tractor-trailer overturned across the I-81 northbound lanes.
Hatfield fled the scene, but was later apprehended hiding behind a nearby building. Local authorities charged him with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, aggravated assault by a vehicle and failure to stop at an accident involving death or personal injury.
In 2009, Hatfield was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Utah. During that incident, he also attempted to flee from the scene.