Nine commercial ground transportation vehicles were removed from service and 35 citations were issued to drivers for administrative and mechanical violations in a vehicle “sting” operation Friday, June 11th at Los Angeles International Airport, police said.
The operation involved nearly 30 representatives from the Los Angeles Airport Police, California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Regulatory Compliance and Standards Section, California Highway Patrol, and the Department of Transportation. A total of 969 door-to-door shuttle vans, limousines and buses were inspected during the four-hour operation at the airport’s limousine holding lot, said Sgt. Belinda Nettles, Airport Police spokeswoman.
“This operation is part of a proactive approach by the Los Angeles Airport Police and our partner agencies to provide the traveling public with safe commercial transportation to and from LAX,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief George Centeno said.
“Air travelers rely heavily on commercial ground transportation services, and with the busy summer travel season beginning, it’s important to ensure these providers are complying with all laws.”
The multi-agency team focused on proper driver and vehicle licensing, PUC and airport operating permits, proper commercial insurance, and other law enforcement-related issues, Nettles said.
Airport Police officers and inspectors also checked for mechanical equipment, including brakes, seat belts, headlights, transponders, and other safety systems that are required to be in good working order.
Of the 989 vehicles inspected, nine were impounded — seven for operating without proper licensing and two for having suspended permits. Twenty vehicles were taken out of service for various mechanical violations.
Four vehicle transponders, devices attached to commercial vehicles to monitor the number of times they access and traverse the airport’s Central Terminal Area roadways, were also removed during the operation. Airport Police noted that transportation providers pay a fee every time a vehicle circuits the terminal area and if the transponder is not operating properly, it represents lost revenue for the airport.
Two drivers were issued citations for misdemeanor violations and another 48 drivers were cited for administrative violations, including serious mechanical problems, improper insurance, driving with an out-of-class license, and invalid or no PUC permits, police said.
Fines for these citations vary, and the drivers must show proof of correction before they can resume for-hire operation.