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May 14, 2010  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Bill would set penalties for operating poorly maintained buses


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HARTFORD, Conn. — The state House and Senate have passed an extensive transportation bill that would help to get poorly maintained school buses off the road.

The bill would establish rigid fines for school bus companies if they fail to abide by inspection orders issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and impose a penalty of up to $2,500 on operations that transport students and file false statements with the DMV regarding maintenance, repair or use of a school bus. Each false statement would be subject to a separate penalty.

Rep. Tony Guerrera, House chair of the Transportation Committee, said that he was pleased with the Legislature’s passage of the bill.

“We must do everything we can to protect schoolchildren,” Guerrera said. “School bus operators must keep buses in safe operating condition.”

The House and Senate’s approval of this legislation follows the passage of an incentive program to install seat belts in school buses. The program would reimburse towns for 50 percent of whatever they pay in sales tax for new buses equipped with three-point seat belts. 

The program would be paid for by increasing the registration fees on suspended driver licenses. The fees would apply to people seeking to reinstate their licenses after offenses like driving under the influence or habitual speeding.


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What I may not understand here is exactly what history a company has with improperly maintained school buses. Having said that, I would think that the State would have State Police Inspectors. The District Commanders would already know which companies or school systems have bad inspection records from past completed inspections. These would automatically be thought of as good for spot inspections at any given time. Then I would impose the heavy fines as they are warranted. Pin point your problems and zero in on those who do not maintain school buses. Each school district school board has to sign the approved school board contracts for school transportation. If they have a company NOT providing safe transportation - THEN DON"T RENEW OR APPROVE OLD CONTRACTS. It is a breach of contract for a company to NOT abide by the written agreement for safe school bus transportation service. That applies to an individual, fleet, or even corporation school owned buses. So if there are real major issues with unsafe school buses and there are already laws, rules, and regulations on the Law Books, why are you folks just now trying to enforce these? This should have been on-going Department of Transportation code enforcements. My question here is: Who dropped the ball in the first place?

Dan Luttrell    |    May 21, 2010 04:43 AM

Something South Carolina should seriously consider!!!!!

Vi Johnston    |    May 14, 2010 04:20 PM

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