Back in ancient history to most of you, there was an oil crisis and a very serious shortage of gasoline. The Federal Government in all their wisdom passed legislation reducing the speed limits on Federally funded roadways to fifty five miles per hour. In Dallas this accounted for a ten mile per hour reduction on most of the freeways involved.
It was apparently very soon that the reduced speed limits were not being observed, so the Federal Department of Transportation provided funding for off duty officers and the equipment required to enforce the reduced speed limits. Overtime pay and doing what you did normally, what could be better.
One early Sunday morning I was assigned to Stemmons Freeway, Interstate Highway 35E. Traffic was extremely light and the majority of the traffic was inbound (southbound) so I was working radar on the center median shoulder just south of the city limits and IH 635.
I am watching the rear view mirror and observe a Continental Trailways bus traveling south and it is VERY apparent it is traveling much more than 55 miles per hour. I look at the radar unit and it discloses a speed of 74 miles per hour.
As it passes I pull in behind and turn on the overhead lights on my vehicle. We continue south with the bus slowing and finally stopping on the west shoulder of the roadway.
I get out, start walking towards the door of the bus and it is so close to the guard railing I have to turn sideways and kind of shuffle along. Get to the door and it is open. Step inside and see no driver behind the steering wheel. Take another step and look inside the bus and observe 14 bus drivers seated all over the bus. I immediately realized how this was going to go. I announced, I am sure nobody is going to admit driving, so everybody off the bus. I stood in the driver's area as the exited mumbling.
Lined up along the shoulder I tell them, you can walk down the exit ramp which was about 50 feet ahead, there is a Dennys there and use the telephone to call for transportation. I am impounding the bus as evidence and having the driver's area processed by the Crime Lab for fingerprints.
Immediately one of them hands me his Drivers License and admits being the driver. I tell the other 13 to get back on the bus. Write the ADMITTED VIOLATOR as citation. I asked, "what is with all the drivers?" He informs me they are enroute to the Port of Houston to pickup new buses and transport them to Kansas City and they overslept at their overnight stop in Oklahoma City.
If he only knew I was completely Joking about impounding the bus and using the crime lab. If they had walked down the ramp, I would have went to Denny's and got one of them and released the bus, I don't believe the Auto Pound would accept a HOLD for a speeding violation. I did just write him for 10 miles over the limit, a minimum cost fine at that time.