Five people were recently injured in a SuperShuttle accident on the Dulles Access Road going to the Dulles Airport. One of the shuttle van passengers suffered life threatening injuries and was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The SuperShuttle driver hit a barrier then crashed into another vehicle.
This serious accident follows a fatal SuperShuttle accident which occurred less than 12 months ago in August, 2011. One passenger was killed on the Dulles Access Highway leaving the Dulles Intl Airport. The SuperShuttle driver was charged with reckless driving. In previous months leading to that accident, SuperShuttle recorded the driver speeding 66 times. WUSA9 News reported that “several drivers also told us that fatigue is a constant problem because they often work 16-24 hours straight.”
SuperShuttle is regulated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission (WMATC). On March 1, 2012 the regulatory agency gave SuperShuttle an “Unsatisfactory” safety rating. According to a WMATC order no. 13,334, if the company did not take steps to improve that rating it would be “required to cease operating commercial motor vehicles in the Metropolitan District”.
According to Bill Morrow who is the Executive Director of the WMATC, Super Shuttle has corrected many of its problems, including keeping track of its drivers’ hours. The transit agency does not have any regulations or restrictions pertaining to Hours-of-Service rules for airport shuttle operators.
SuperShuttle drivers continue to work hours in excessive of federal Hours-of-Service (HOS) mandates. According to Abdelkader Iskalen who is a SuperShuttle franchisee recently stated “there are still problems with fatigue because drivers are working too many hours and are forced to work 12-16 hour days to cover gas, maintenance costs, and fees to Super Shuttle.”
It is still unclear if SuperShuttle is required to follow Hours-of-Service regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. DOT. SuperShuttle operates it’s vehicles in a Commercial Zone which may provide exemptions to follow federal rules and regulations. HOS rules apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMV) involved in interstate commerce including vehicles which transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation. SuperShuttle’s blue vans carry up to a maximum of 10 passengers from the Dulles International Airport (not including the SuperShuttle driver).
Hours of Service Rules for CMV Drivers carrying Passengers include
- 10 Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
- 15 Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Related: Super Shuttle Accident To and From Dulles Airport