Brake Interlocks Installed on More Virginia School Buses

Posted on August 17, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. — Many of the school buses in the state that had been found in May to be missing a safety device that prevents the parking brake from accidentally disengaging are now equipped with the device.

As previously reported, the Virginia Department of Education had discovered that approximately 4,000 public school buses operating in Virginia lacked the parking brake interlock feature as required by state specifications.

Upon becoming aware of the situation, school bus dealer Sonny Merryman Inc. took action to bring all affected Thomas Built buses into compliance before the start of the 2017-18 school year, according to a news release from the dealer.

During the course of the summer, a team of nearly a dozen Sonny Merryman Inc. field technicians installed the feature on more than 2,000 public school buses manufactured by Thomas Built Buses. Over a recent 10-week period, the team traveled to 86 school districts across Virginia to perform the interlock installation procedure.

“I can’t say enough about our service guys and the cooperation and support we received from our customers. We were faced with this challenging task during our busiest time of the year, and we got it done in time for school start,” said Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman Inc. “We were absolutely determined to take prompt corrective action to ensure the safety of Virginia’s students and school bus drivers. All Thomas school buses currently operating in Virginia are now compliant with the parking brake interlock requirement.”

The Virginia Department of Education is continuing to track the brake interlock installation progress of all of the affected public school buses.

Related Topics: brakes, Thomas Built Buses, Virginia

Comments ( 1 )
  • Frank G

     | about 2 years ago

    Help me here folks. Brake interlocks? Are not the busses in VA equipped with air brakes? I train bus drivers here in TN and have never seen this term. Help me out folks. Thanks

More Stories
The Idaho State Department of Education’s PSA asks motorists to be engaged and "watch for school buses as they pick up and drop off kids.”

PSA Promotes School Bus Safety in Idaho

The Idaho State Department of Education’s public service announcement asks motorists to be engaged and "watch for school buses as they pick up and drop off kids.”


Truck Collides With School Bus, Killing 2

A semi tractor-trailer reportedly enters the opposite lane of traffic and collides head-on with a school bus in Illinois, killing the driver of the truck and a school volunteer, police said.


School Bus Veers Off Road in Crash, Motorist Gets DUI

Christy Gilpatrick of Rhode Island crashes into the bus while driving allegedly under the influence of alcohol, causing the bus to veer off the road and land in the woods. Several students and adults on board were injured.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!