Ride The Ducks Penalty Set At $222,000 | KUOW News and Information

Ride The Ducks Penalty Set At $222,000

Mar 17, 2016

Ride the Ducks of Seattle has admitted to more than 460 motor safety violations.

The company also revealed a settlement plan made with the state transportation officials on Thursday. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, proposes a $222,000 fine against the company. That's after a Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a crash last year in Seattle that killed five students.

The settlement is not big enough in the eyes of attorney Karen Koehler. She's representing eight people injured in the crash.

"To kill that many people, to injure that many people — I mean, $220,000 won't pay for hardly any part of even the investigation effort," Koehler said.

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Under the settlement, Ride the Ducks would only be required to pay half that amount, as long as the company doesn't have violations for two years. Of the company's reported violations, 159 were critical to public safety.

The UTC could have fined the company $460,000, but spokesperson Amanda Maxwell said not all the problems were considered to be critical.

"Like a driver without a commercial driver license: those violations were assigned a greater weight. Whereas the 304 violations that were related to record keeping brought their penalty total down," Maxwell said.

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A UTC committee will vote on whether to approve the settlement. A public hearing is scheduled for May 18.

The attorney representing Ride the Ducks of Seattle, Patricia Buchanan, sent us this statement: “We are pleased that we were able to reach this settlement agreement with the UTC. The settlement is fair and appropriately places the emphasis on ensuring that Ride the Ducks vehicles are the safest commercial vehicles on the road.”