04/04/11 Each year the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) spends thousands of man-hours on bus inspections helping to ensure the safety of our children. But did you know that they also perform the inspections on the buses that our kids ride while at day care? With the end of the school year in sight, thousands of children in our community will be attending day care programs on a daily basis, and many of them will be transported on these special purpose buses.
The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Indiana State Police conducts nearly 1,400 school bus inspections annually in the Bremen District which covers St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall and Kosciusko Counties. Statewide the division is responsible for approximately 15,000 bus inspections annually. The bus inspections include ““Special Purpose Buses”, which are typically operated by day care centers. Indiana law requires the state police to inspect all special purpose buses, and school buses, used to transport pupils in the state of Indiana. The buses are inspected to determine compliance with the safety requirements as set forth by the Indiana State School Bus Committee.
Once an inspection has been completed the bus will either be approved, rejected, or put out-of-service. A bus receiving an approved rating passed the inspection without any defects, and is ready to transport children. A bus that is rejected, had minor defects, and has 30 days to be corrected. During this period, the bus is allowed to transport children. A bus that receives an out-of-service rating indicates that it has serious mechanical defects, and is not allowed to transport children until these defects are corrected and the bus has been re-inspected. Transporting children on a bus that has not been presented for inspection is a class “C” misdemeanor.
The inspections typically take fifteen minutes per bus, and while most violations involve minor repairs, such as a burnt out light, which is easily fixed, we do occasionally run across buses that have major violations. We have also seen problems with day care centers not following the law when it comes to having their bus inspections completed. The safety of our children is everyone’s responsibility, and I encourage the public to contact their nearest state police post to report any bus that they feel may be unsafe, commented Bremen Post Commander James Strong.