The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Ohio-licensed truck driver Doug A. Jones to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Jones, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the federal order on December 27, 2018.
Twice in the past six months, Jones has struck an individual while operating a tractor-trailer. In both instances, the individual was killed.
On July 2, 2018, Jones struck a man who was standing near his disabled vehicle on the right shoulder of Interstate 81 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Jones was charged with: careless driving causing death of another person; driving a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions; driving outside of a single lane before ascertaining if the movement can be made safely; and failing to wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt system.
On December 7, 2018, Jones drove his truck onto the fog line (the white line designating the roadway shoulder) striking a highway construction worker who was standing next to parked vehicle along U.S. 33 in Union County, Ohio. After striking the construction worker, Jones did not stop but continued to drive. The case remains under investigation by Union County law enforcement officials.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order to Jones states “Your continued operation of a [commercial motor vehicle] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $1,848 may be assessed for each day a CMV is operated in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.
Jones also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the Agency’s safety regulations.