WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Ben Gordon Enterprises LLC d.b.a. Gordon's Tree Service of Slidell, La., to immediately cease all transportation services based on serious safety violations that pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

"Safety is always our top priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "If a truck company ignores federal safety rules and places the traveling public at risk, we will remove them from the road."

FMCSA shut down Ben Gordon Enterprises after a thorough investigation found the company had willfully violated a federal out-of-service order, continued to operate vehicles in violation of that order, and continued to operate and direct the operation of its vehicles in willful disregard of critical safety regulations. After being placed out-of-service, the company continued to use drivers without valid commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) or medical certificates, had been involved in a crash while using a driver who did not possess a CDL. The company also used two drivers on two separate occasions who had not obtained medical certificates, and who were arrested for driving under the influence and possession of alcohol.

In November 2012, the FMCSA conducted a comprehensive review of company operations and determined that Ben Gordon Enterprises failed to implement an alcohol and controlled substance program, used drivers without CDLs, failed to maintain an accident register and reports and driver qualification files, and failed to keep records of inspections and vehicle maintenance or require drivers to prepare vehicle inspection reports. Based on the company's disregard for safety regulations, unacceptable level of safety compliance, and continued operations in violation of an out-of-service order, FMCSA found that the company's continued operation of commercial motor vehicles posed an imminent hazard to the public.

"FMCSA is raising the bar to stay in the trucking and bus industry," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "Safety cannot be compromised. Adhere to the safety regulations, or you will be shut down."

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/About/News/2012/Ben-Gordon-Enterprises-LLC-order-attch.pdf