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City Cracks Down on Bus Violations

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 05 February, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 5 February) Citizens have long complained that city buses and their drivers often seem to be out of control. The municipal director of ecology, Alan Ramírez Hernández has begun to do something about it. He is attacking noise pollution, caused by the deafening loudspeakers inside some buses, and by the loud and incessant trumpeting of horns on the outside of the buses. On Tuesday over 100 buses were stopped and checked by the traffic police, resulting in the confiscation of loud speakers and horns. The owners must pay a steep fine to redeem their property. Second offenders will be fined without a return of their equipment. The noise law specifies maximum levels for the city, based on international standards. Arbitrary horn-blowing is specifically forbidden, as is driving with improper or defective mufflers.

At one roadside checkpoint on Tuesday morning near Pie de la Cuesta, in a very short period of time the police discovered under age and unlicensed drivers, buses without documentation or plates, and several violations of the noise pollution law. Thirty-three tickets were issued, four sound systems and 15 trumpet horns were confiscated, and one driver was arrested for being armed with a concealed ice pick under his t-shirt. Bus regulations also require that drivers dress properly, with shoes, long pants and a collared shirt. As so many were driving in shorts and flip-flops, the authorities plan to convene a session with the managers of the bus companies, to help restore order. The numerous documentation infractions showed that bus company management has been as indifferent to the regulations as the drivers themselves.

Ecology director Ramírez said that the crackdown on noise is a permanent initiative. He said, “The upset caused by the racket these drivers create, for users of the buses and for others, was unbearable. We will continue with the enforcement along the Costera and on Cuauhtémoc, Constituyentes and Ruiz Cortines, as well as the Calzada Pie de la Cuesta, until we are rid of this social evil.” The plan is to be especially strict in areas near schools and hospitals. “We will not act half-heartedly; we will proceed with a copy of the law in our hands, and with the full support of the citizens.”

The police plan to enforce more than just the ordinance on noise. They have become especially intolerant of reckless driving and other outrageous behavior of the city bus drivers ever since last Tuesday, when a mother and her baby were struck by a bus. In the police operation called “Safe Passenger,” law enforcement takes special measures to protect the public from bus accidents and robberies of passengers.