The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Ontario, Canada-licensed truck driver Inderjit Singh Gill to be an imminent hazard to public safety, prohibiting him from operating any commercial motor vehicle in the United States. Gill, an Ontario, Canada Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the FMCSA order on March 9, 2016.
Four violations in four days
On four separate occasions over the course of four days in March 2016, Gill was ordered out-of-service by state roadside safety inspectors for falsifying records of duty status and egregiously violating hours of service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving. In each of the first three instances, Gill willfully disregarded the out-of-service order and continued operating his commercial truck – including surreptitiously removing the vehicle from a storage facility where it had been towed.
On March 4, 2016, New York State Police stopped Gill in Clinton, New York following citizen complaints that his commercial truck was being operated in an erratic manner. Gill was ordered out-of-service for exceeding the 14-hour on-duty federal limitation for truck drivers.
Weaving across lanes
Ignoring the out-of-service order, Gill was stopped by Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles personnel in South Burlington, Vermont approximately two-and-a-half hours later – once again following citizen reports of dangerous, erratic operation of Gill’s truck, including instances of weaving across lanes and into the median. For a second time and by a different state law enforcement officer, Gill was ordered out-of-service for federal hours-of-service violations and operating a commercial vehicle while fatigued. Gill was also charged with operating a commercial vehicle in a careless and negligent manner, failure to maintain lane, and multiple logbook violations. At 2:29 p.m., Gill’s truck was subsequently towed to a storage facility.
Approximately four hours later, surveillance video showed Gill departing the storage facility in the truck in willful violation of the previous out-of-service orders.
On March 8, 2016, during a safety inspection at the Massena, New York Port of Entry, Gill was again ordered out-of-service for falsifying records-of-duty status. For the third time in the span of four days, Gill willfully ignored the out-of-service order and resumed operating the truck.
Approximately four hours after departing Massena, New York, Gill was stopped for speeding by New York State Police. He was again cited for falsifying his records-of-duty status and ordered out-of-service.
Jail time is possible
Gill has been charged in Vermont with the careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle; his court date in the Franklin County, Vermont Superior Court – Criminal Division has been set for April 25, 2016. Gill also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Gill’s “…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or to the motoring public.”
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense. A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.