The countdown to the new school year is on. And for many students, that means they'll soon be getting on that big yellow school bus. Our Melissa Kakareka gives us a behind the scenes look at what it takes to get those buses ready for the road.
VESTAL, N.Y. -- The wheels on the bus will be going round and round in just a few days. And for local school districts, it's important to make sure the wheels and everything else are in working order.
"Every morning, we have a lot of moms and dads out there putting their children on buses expecting they are going to get a safe and comfortable ride to school, so that’s our main function," said Vestal School District Transportation Supervisor Roger Warren.
It's the responsibility of each driver to check the bus before and after each run.
Warren said, "From the morning, from the first time the drivers get on the bus in the morning, until they get off at night, there are procedures set up for pre-tripping and post-tripping and checking the bus before and after each run."
State law also mandates that the Department of Transportation must check each bus in every district every six months. DOT inspectors were making bus inspections at the Vestal School District Thursday.
"We keep a running list of buses and we call the school district and give them a date we’ll be there and what bus numbers," said Jeff Corey, DOT Bus Supervisor for regions 2 and 9.
Jeff Corey's team checks about 4,500 buses in a 15 county region between Utica and Binghamton every six months. There are over 200 items for inspection on each bus.
Corey said, "We look for the maintenance records on bus prior to us getting here and also we do the safety items, all the interior checks, emergency buzzers and emergency hatches, tires, exhaust."
When a bus passes DOT inspection, it receives a certification sticker. If not, it receives an out-of-service sticker and the DOT comes back for another inspection after repairs have been made.