Tour bus company shuttered for carrying people with luggage

A US tour bus company was shut down after six people were discovered travelling in a coach’s luggage compartment.

Travel Insurance News - 13/06/2011

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A tour bus company in the US state of Michigan has been shut down by safety regulators after six people were discovered to be travelling in the baggage hold of a moving coach. The people were even found to have pillows and mattresses.

The driver of the coach told police the passenger compartment lacked room for the six people. The coach was making a 235-mile trip to northern Ohio.

Haines Tours, of Gladwin in Michigan, was ordered by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to shut down operations. The regulator said the firm’s operations represented an ‘imminent hazard’.

The shutdown order carried details of the incident that led to the company being taken out of operation. A state highway patrol officer in Ohio had discovered that six of the 62 people travelling on the coach were in the luggage compartment.

The officer made the shocking discovery during inspection of the coach on 27 May. The bus was heading from Roscommon in Michigan to Clyde in Ohio.

This was not the first time Haines Tours has been caught in the act of using the luggage area in an unauthorised manner. In August of last year, the firm was cited over the use of the luggage compartment as a sleeping area for the company’s drivers.

The order outlined how the company’s failure to comply with safety requirements concerning the transport of passengers in the coach’s cargo area meant the company was responsible for a ‘substantial increase’ in the likelihood that failure to stop operations immediately would lead to serious injury or death.

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