The Farm Progress Show, which began Tuesday in Decatur, is the sort of place where you’ll find plenty of passenger motor coaches. And the drivers who pulled into the parking lot of nearby Richland Community College had a surprise waiting for them: police and state and federal transportation officers forming a “strike force” to inspect the buses.
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Tuesday, they found two buses with balding tires. Even though many operators are well-intentioned, violations can be easy to find. “During the calendar year 2012, the 14 IDOT compliance officers our inspectors inspected more than 525 buses,” says IDOT’s motor coach unit director, Tom Wise, “and found more than 140 out-of-service violations on them, stopping those buses from operating.” Wise says the violations can include something such as a driver spending too many hours behind the wheel.
It has been about a year since the Megabus crash along I-55 near Litchfield. One person died in that wreck, which is believed to be an accident but is still under investigation. The U. S. Department of Transportation urges motor coach passengers and bookers to go online and “look before you book.”