Multiple violations found during Skywalk traffic check

KINGMAN - Law enforcement agencies on Monday conducted another traffic safety detail focusing on buses and motor coaches headed to the Skywalk tourist destination at the Grand Canyon.

According to Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter, 36 commercial tour vehicles were inspected, resulting in 42 violations.

Five were driver violations and 37 involved vehicles.

Three were serious enough to have one driver and two buses placed out of service.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Hualapai Nation Police Department and enforcement and compliance officers with the Arizona Department of Transportation joined MCSO.

The detail provided extra speed enforcement along Pierce Ferry and Diamond Bar roads and conducted inspections at three locations.

Each agency, said Carter, provided specially trained officers who conducted safety inspections at park and ride locations in Lake Mead City and Dolan Springs. A third inspection site was at the Grand Canyon West Skywalk attraction.

Tour bus operators should be aware the surprise inspections are here to stay.

"We intend to continue our large scale inspection details quarterly with random spot inspections several times a month throughout the area," said Sgt. Don Bischoff. "With DPS, ADOT and the Hualapai Nation P.D. participating in this detail, our collective efforts on Monday allowed us to inspect well over 80 percent of the motor coaches and buses used by commercial tour operators in the area."

Sheriff Tom Sheahan suggested operators should see the inspections as a positive.

"By conducting these inspection details on a regular basis, we are able to build trust and respect with the drivers and tour companies," said Sheahan.

"They know we expect them to operate safely and to maintain their buses so as to ensure the safety of their passengers."