N.J. enhances school bus safety check tool

Posted on October 12, 2012

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:

App aims to streamline bus inspections

88% of Mo. school buses approved in annual inspection

Related Topics: inspections, New Jersey

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