Fourteen commercial vehicles were pulled from service and 19 drivers were cited for violations as a result of a periodic surprise inspection at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Thursday, March 3rd, airport officials said.

The multi-agency law enforcement operation was conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in front of Terminal 7 and in the airport’s ground transportation holding lot.

LAX spokesman Tom Winfrey said the surprise inspection included both mechanical and administrative processes, in which vehicles were checked for being in safe mechanical operation and having the proper operating permits.

The goal of the operation was to enhance the personal safety of people who use commercial ground transportation services, airport officials said.

“We believe it’s important to protect the safety of the traveling public,” Winfrey said.

The vehicles pulled from service and impounded either had permit violations or serious mechanical problems, or were unsafe to drive, airport officials said.

Some of the serious safety violations included a hotel shuttle bus with failing brakes, a hotel shuttle bus with the emergency escape window and door wired shut and a gasoline-soaked paper towel being used as a gas cap.

The 19 drivers were cited for violations that included using vehicles with serious mechanical problems, having improper insurance, driver’s licenses and invalid permits, airport officials said.

Nearly 40 representatives from the LAX Police Division, the California Highway Patrol, the California Public Utilities Commission and Los Angeles World Airports operations and airfield permits units conducted the inspections.

Throughout the four-hour operation, 118 commercial vehicles, including limousines, door-to-door shuttles, vans, buses, taxis and hotel and private parking lot shuttles were pulled over for inspection.

The surprise inspection culminated “Operation: Terminal Sweep,” a series of ground transportation law enforcement actions which began in November.

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