Feds shut 52 unsafe bus companies, three regional lines affected

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown.

Among the violations that inspectors discovered were drivers whose licenses were suspended or who drove more than 800 miles without rest.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Thursday that in April it started checking out 250 companies with poor safety records.

None of the bus lines operate in the Tri-State but three of the affected companies operate in the region.

Those include Rotel North American Tours Llc. in Terre Haute, Ind., MHBS Inc. in Mortons Gap, Ky., and Destiny Tours in Toledo, Ohio.

Of the 52 that were shut down, three have made changes that allowed them to reopen.

Agency administrator Anne S. Ferro says the companies aren't just low-cost, fly-by-night carriers -- some have transported school bands, Boy Scouts or senior citizens.

Ferro says that while most of the nation's approximately 4,000 interstate bus companies are safe, others "put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market."

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