Local trucking company shut down for safety violations

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Indianapolis-based trucking firm U & D Service Inc. has been shut down by federal authorities after being declared an “imminent hazard” to public safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Tuesday that it ordered U & D to immediately cease all commercial motor vehicle operations. The agency said an extensive review of the company’s operations found multiple federal safety violations, including a continuous pattern of using drivers without valid commercial driver’s licenses, or CDLs, and using drivers that do not meet federal English-proficiency requirements.

Some of the company’s drivers may face civil penalties and/or driver disqualifications, the agency said.

The company, which hauls general freight, produce and refrigerated cargo, was founded in May 2011 at 3649 Lafayette Road on the northwest side of the city. It has 44 vehicles and 43 drivers, the FMCSA said.

A phone call to U & D's office Wednesday morning was not answered.

Indiana State Police conducted 26 roadside inspections of U & D vehicles between Nov. 3 and Jan. 27, the FMCSA said in its order. The company’s drivers were cited 21 times for not being proficient in English, 12 times for not having a CDL, 10 times for exceeding vehicle weight limits and eight times for exceeding tire-weight limits.

Transportation officials said the company continued to violate the same regulations after numerous warnings to correct them.

The company faces penalties of up to $16,000 per day if it continues to conduct business. It would be allowed to resume business if it corrects its problems and develops a strict compliance plan, the FMCSA said.

“Safety is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highest priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a prepared statement. “We are committed to aggressively removing from our roads unsafe truck companies that place the traveling public at risk.”

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