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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
Grand Teton National Park, in partnership with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspectors and the Wyoming Highway Patrol Commercial Carrier group, conducted multiple commercial vehicle safety inspections over several weeks this past summer. The inspections focused on commercial buses and trucks and evaluated both the driver and their vehicle. These inspections are conducted annually to ensure compliance with federal regulations that govern the operation of such vehicles, and to improve safety for both passengers and other drivers on park roads.
During the 2013 inspections, a total of 165 vehicles received a comprehensive examination and 70 citations were issued for a variety of violations. The inspections resulted in 29 'out-of-service' citations for significant equipment malfunctions, multiple safety violations, or inappropriate/unlicensed drivers (details below). These violations required the vehicles to be parked until the identified safety issues were resolved. Other violations included leaks in air brake connections, brake pads worn to less than 20%, tires worn to their steel belts, cracked frames, fractured leaf springs, and significant hydraulic fluid leaks.
In addition to the vehicle violations, one driver was charged with having an open container of alcohol. Three drivers could not read or speak English at a level sufficient to be operating a passenger carrier in the United States, as required by federal regulation.
Over the past four years, more than 500 commercial vehicle inspections were conducted at Grand Teton National Park. During those 500+ safety inspections, fully 60% of the commercial vehicles were found to be in violation of federal regulations, and 21% of those were placed out of service after failing the inspection.
Each of the operators with safety violations were cited by the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Vehicles inspected included passenger vans and small buses, commercial passenger buses, delivery vehicles, construction vehicles, and other commercial vehicles.
Since the commercial safety inspection program began, law enforcement partners have noticed an improvement in safety practices of local commercial carriers.