Posted: Mar 23, 2013 2:24 PM by David Jay - MTN News
BILLINGS - The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has shut down Rimrock Stages, a bus company based in Billings.
The USDOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Imminent Hazard Operations Out-Of-Service order.
American Bus Association (ABA) Senior Director of Communications Dan Ronan confirmed to us that the order had been issued.
Ronan cites an accident on Jan. 8, 2012 near Missoula that killed two other drivers and injured passengers on the bus. However, he also says accidents by themselves do not lead to a shut down, and the agency is saying there is a pattern.
Ronan says Rimrock must now go through a rigorous process to return back to service, with Ronan adding that the USDOT closed five or six companies last month, and up to 38 since last summer.
"The ABA supports the USDOT's efforts to make roads safe and get what they say are unsafe bus companies off the road," Ronan said.
Ronan has spoken on behalf of Rimrock Stages in the past. However, when we talked with him Saturday morning, he had not contacted Rimrock Stages management and did not have a comment for the company.
The order issued by federal officials states: "The Secretary and the FMCSA find your operations and your continued operation of commercial motor vehicles in the United Stated constitute an imminent hazard. This means that based upon your present state of unacceptable safety compliance, your operation of commercial motor vehicle(s) poses an imminent hazard to public safety."