Charter bus passengers stranded

This charter bus was stopped in Raleigh Thursday.

September 29, 2011 2:07:08 PM PDT
About two dozen passengers on a charter bus bound from New York to South Carolina found themselves stranded Thursday when the bus was stopped in Raleigh by DOT enforcement.

"The bus got stopped 30 minutes after it changed bus drivers, and we've been here for four hours ever since," passenger Dave Collins told ABC11.

Collins said the bus company had just switched drivers when it happened.

"The DOT stopped us and said that the bus driver didn't have enough sleep and he just boarded the bus 30 minutes before that," said Collins.

The driver was cited and told not to drive. That left passengers sitting while the bus company sent a replacement.

An attorney for I-95 Coach, the company that operates the bus, told ABC11 it usually has no problems until they drive through North Carolina and he said he's concerned the company is being targeted.

"We certainly don't have a problem with motor carrier enforcement, the safety regulations, cause it's a good thing. It's a good way to spend our tax money, but we certainly don't want the enforcement to be selective," Ira Braswell offered.

Braswell said he believes there's possibly a national push for random safety checks underway, since a deadly bus crash in Virginia happened earlier this year.

ABC11 contacted the NC Highway Patrol to ask, but there was no immediate response. A spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told us there is a two-week strike force underway to inspect motor coach vehicles.

The enforcement period runs through Oct. 7 and is going on nationwide.

The bus did eventually go on its way, but passengers like Collins were left asking why it happened.

"We had a decent ride, I mean the trip was affordable to get to this point and for them to make us go through this inconvenience is not that well," he said.

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