School Buses Undergo Safety Inspections


By Amy Fox
By Jared Roberts

HARRISBURG--  In just a few weeks, buses will be hitting the streets, taking children back to school. Work is already underway to repair and update those buses, to make sure they are as safe as possible.

Robinson Transport in Harrisburg has been working on its buses since June. But with the addition of three new contracts with schools, they will soon have 20 more buses to inspect before the first day of school.

"It seems like the summer is always short," said David Robinson, vice president of Robinson Transport Vice President.

Since June, the company has been checking all of its 30 buses from top to bottom. 

Robinson Transport President Joyce Robinson said, "We don't just do all brakes one day, or all shocks one day, or all tires one day, we go from top to bottom. What that bus needs then that bus gets completed before another bus comes in."

From mopping and cleaning the inside of the buses, to checking the engines, all of the buses are required to meet certain safety standards.

"They have to go through a safety lane inspection station," said Joyce. "And, they will do the brake test, they test everything: the play in the steering, they check the light system, the mufflers, the tie rod ends, the leaf springs, the tires, everything you could imagine."

David said, "Well, that's our number one thing, your safety is. The better shape your bus is in, the better safety you are."

With multiple routes and heavy use, buses experience a lot of wear and tear. Every year, buses are replaced depending on their condition. 

"It's unbelievable how many seat cushions we've replaced this summer. Kids, they don't have anything better to do than to stick their pencil in the back of the seat and make a big old, you know, scrape on it," said Joyce.

Once school starts, drivers are required to go into work at least a half hour early to inspect their bus before beginning their route.

David said, "Every morning, the bus has to fill out pre-trip inspection and that's a list of several, probably close to a hundred things, they got to look at."

Once by one, the buses will continue to be checked out. David and Joyce just hope they've done enough to earn an A-plus on their upcoming safety lane inspections.

Robinson Transport will have a kick-off meeting with the district before school starts in the middle of August.

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