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Ride the Ducks admits to safety violations, pays fine to state

Seattle's Ride the Ducks tour company has admitted to hundreds of safety violations, months after a fatal accident on the Aurora Bridge. (AP)

Ride the Ducks has admitted to safety violations and agreed to pay a $222,000 penalty, according to the Utilities and Transportation Commission.

The state’s Utility Transportation Committee opened an investigation into Ride the Ducks after a Sept. 24 crash that killed five people.

Photos from the Ride the Ducks crash

The company now admits to violating 463 motor carrier safety rules that were identified in UTC staff’s 2015 investigation &#8212 159 of which are classified as “acute or critical to protecting public safety.” The remaining 304 violations were related to recordkeeping.

The UTC filed a settlement agreement with Ride the Ducks of Seattle on Thursday, proposing that the company pay a $222,000 penalty to resolve the pending complaint against the company.

UTC says it will suspend $111,600 of the penalty associated with the recordkeeping violations, if the company does not further violate acute, critical, or alcohol and controlled substance testing requirements for two years.

Related: Ride the Ducks starts touring again after fatal crash

The agreement now goes before the three-member commission, who will either approve, modify, or reject the agreement.

UTC released the following developments in a news release on Thursday:

The company must undergo follow-up compliance investigations and vehicle inspections this summer, and again in January 2017 and January 2018, to determine if the company is following its safety management plan and to verify compliance with state and federal safety requirements.

The commission has prohibited RTDS from using its “Stretch-Duck” vehicles until the company has demonstrated, and the commission has determined, that those vehicles pose no immediate danger to public safety.

The UTC regulates the rates and services of charter-bus companies, household goods movers, telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, and a low-level radioactive waste repository.

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