Police pulled over a bus operated by Haines Tours in Ohio on May 27, 2011. During an inspection of the bus, authorities discovered six individuals travelling in a luggage compartment. Mattresses, pillows and luggage were also found during the inspection.
Federal authorities ordered Haines Tours to cease operations – again. This is not the first time that Haines Tours has transported people in the luggage compartment of their tour busses. The company had been warned in August of 2010 that it could not transport people in the luggage compartments of its vehicles.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated, “People’s lives were needlessly placed at risk. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and it begins with practicing common sense. That means not putting human beings in cargo holds.”
The bus driver told the officer on the scene that he had placed some passengers in the luggage compartment because there was no more room on the passenger section of the bus. It is unknown as to why the passengers agreed to travel in the luggage compartment.
Haines Tours can resume operations provided it meets government requirements and develops a plan to ensure that passengers are only placed in the proper seating area and nowhere else ever again.
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