School bus inspections in full swing - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

School bus inspections in full swing

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Schools are starting this week and school bus inspections are in full swing.   Cuts in state funding have also affected the number of bus inspectors.  So we sent a crew out to an inspection to see how it works and to ask if your child's safety is at risk.

Bus Inspector Travis Harrold said, "We check everything from underneath the hood to lights, any emergency exits, pretty much everything on the bus make sure they're working good."

Harrold is a state trooper bus inspector and he doesn't let any violations slip through the cracks of his inspections.  Indiana school buses are required by law to be inspected once a year,
but state funding has gotten pretty low, so there are less and less resources to inspect these buses. Harrold says he has to inspect 250 buses from South Bend schools in six days by himself.  "It was a lot more work for us at first but there's been some changes going along to where now we do have the help if we need it," said Harrold.

He said there used to be about five or six guys inspecting buses.  They used to take eight weeks out of the summer to get them done.  He may have more work now, but Harrold said there are positives too, because now they inspect buses year round to lighten the work-load.  "It also gives a chance to go in there and check the buses during the actual school year so they're not just makin' the buses look pretty for the summer when they're not carrying students."

Harrold estimated about two out of ten buses will have a violation, but they can usually fix it before the inspection is even over.  He said parents should feel at ease sending their kids off to school.  Not only are state troopers and mechanics inspecting buses, but schools do preventative work on the buses before inspections to make sure safety is up to par.  "Overall every school around here does a fantastic job," said Harrold.

If you know your child's bus number, you can actually go online and see the results of your bus inspection.  The link to that page is here.

 

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