The latest national report shows that for three of the six passing vehicle fatalities, the bus had not yet fully stopped, so the red lights and stop arm were not activated.
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) has made available an enhanced tool that allows parents to check the safety records of their child’s school bus from their home.
MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez said that the tool, the School Bus Report Card, reinforces the importance of the state’s stringent school bus inspection program. Information about the report card tool is available here.
"The MVC is serious when it comes to the safety of school buses, so we are very proud of the enhancements we have made to our School Bus Report Card,” Martinez added.
Twice a year, the MVC inspects all New Jersey-registered school vehicles utilizing a 180-point checklist. The inspection results are then entered into the MVC's online report card for parents or guardians to view.
In addition to improved search functions, officials said the enhanced School Bus Report Card calculates and supplies the percentage of buses within a particular school yard or bus company that were either initially approved or put out of service. The report also details the following:
• The reason for a bus' failure
• If the bus is pending for re-exam
• When that re-exam occurred or will occur
• Subsequent exam results
Also available online to download is the MVC’s school bus safety activity and coloring book. The book is designed to teach children what they need to know about how to safely ride a school bus.
The MVC inspects 24,000 school vehicles, including school buses, small school vehicles, dual-purpose vehicles and summer camp vehicles, at approximately 1,300 locations statewide. Officials said that access to vehicle fleet locations for onsite inspections, which is provided under the School Bus Enhanced Safety Inspection Act, allows for better monitoring of carrier operations and maintenance procedures, interaction with mechanics and operational staff, access to inspection and repair records, and the ability to ensure more timely inspection of vehicles.
“As with the inspection of any school vehicle that transports children, MVC inspectors are meticulous in their efforts to detect major and minor defects,” Martinez said. “It is this dedication to school bus safety that demonstrates to the citizens of New Jersey that we are providing a true benefit.”
In addition to scheduled inspections, the School Bus Inspection Unit also performs monthly, unannounced inspections with the New Jersey State Police as part of the New Jersey School Bus Task Force. These inspections are performed to ensure that bus companies and school districts are keeping accurate records and completing regular maintenance on their buses in the months between the MVC’s visits.
Other news on school bus inspections:
With the state Legislature’s vote, $20.5 million is now available for hundreds of new school buses across the state. Many of the state’s buses are more than 20 years old.
Senate Bill 44 would require public school bus owners to comply with certain federal inspection standards. A school board worries it might lead to roadside checks and stops at weigh stations.
A Florida bus driver who refused to let students deboard until medical help arrived for an injured student despite parents’ demands was following policy, district officials say.
As a consultant with the TransPar Group, Meslin says he will work to help school districts “serve students better and less expensively.”
Saratoga Springs City School District adds Tyler Drive, which provides directions and other route and ridership information. The system also includes a parent portal.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation supports the legislation, which responds to instances of school bus driver DUIs.
Ron Cordova, Zonar’s newest compliance manager, has nearly 25 years of experience in commercial vehicle safety.
The new SafeGuard FlexPlus school bus seat includes features designed to enhance safety.
Regina Shealy of Florida is presented with an award and recognized on social media for helping a student on her bus who became unresponsive.
Oak Hill Capital Partners will be the new owner of Safe Fleet, whose brands provide a variety of equipment for school buses.
According to NAPT's executive director, if, as Giorgio Armani once said, “Jeans represent democracy in fashion,” then school buses are their educational equivalent.
Cuomo’s 2018 agenda includes initiatives to address illegal passing, replacement of old buses, and bullying.
In 2016, a Massachusetts student was dragged and then run over by Tendzin Parsons’ bus. Parsons is sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to negligent motor vehicle homicide.
Authorities in Forest City, Iowa, say that a pellet gun shattered a window on the bus while it was transporting students. A suspect has been charged.