WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today ordered passenger carrier LEX Express, Inc. (DBA Lincolnland Express) of Champaign, Ill., to shut down its operations.

On October 22, 2012, FMCSA issued a proposed Unsatisfactory safety rating against LEX Express after conducting a compliance review that found numerous violations of federal safety regulations, including false reporting of records of duty status, use of commercial motor vehicles that were not periodically inspected and failure to properly maintain vehicle parts and accessories.

"Safety is our number one priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We are using every resource at our disposal to identify and remove unsafe bus companies from our roads."

LEX Express was informed in the Agency's October 22 notice that the company would be prohibited from operating its fleet of 30 passenger vehicles and 34 drivers on December 7, 2012, unless FMCSA approved a corrective action plan to ensure safety compliance.

LEX Express submitted a 600-page proposed safety management plan on Friday, November 30, five business days before the effective date of the Unsatisfactory safety rating. FMCSA is in the process of reviewing LEX Express's plan and has up to 30 days for review to ensure the proposed corrective action will produce safety results warranting a rating upgrade.

"The FMCSA is very clear about its safety and compliance requirements, investigations and procedures," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "The information we gather as a result keeps passengers safe and informed, while giving other drivers greater peace of mind when sharing the road with motor carriers."

FMCSA encourages all bus riders to think safety first before buying a ticket or booking a trip by checking our SaferBus mobile app or web site (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/saferbus/saferbus.aspx), which provide a quick and easy way to view a bus company's safety record. Consumers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to visit the "Look Before You Book" web page for multilingual safety tips. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx