State law requires that before starting on a school bus run, to pick up or discharge students, the driver shall perform the required inspections as listed on the “Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report”. This is a DAILY report, which is to be completed each day and submitted to the transportation office at the end of the day. A separate Vehicle Inspection Report must be filled out for each vehicle you drive. Please note if you do find something wrong, make note on the Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report and then fill out a “Vehicle Service Request” for the mechanics to make the repairs. When performing your inspections remember to check for any suspicious items on the inside and outside of the vehicle including the wheel wells. During your inspection should you discover any remaining students onboard or belongings left by students (clothing, phones, etc). Immediately notify the transportation office.
Buses are inspected by the State of New Jersey two times a year. It is extremely important that the buses pass these inspections. They look for a number of issues on each bus. Some are designated as driver related issues (i.e., back alarm not working, light out, insurance card missing, loose seat, pry bar loose, seat belt not available for use, cracked lights, etc.) Drivers should be noting these problems during their normal pre/post trip inspections each day. The inspectors have the right to issue fines against the bus driver for not recording a defect on the Vehicle Inspection Report and completing a Vehicle Service Request. It is your responsibility as a bus driver to perform the pre and post trip inspections. Continued failure to note these items will be noted in your summative evaluation that may result in disciplinary action which could affect your salary and/or continued employment with the district.
- Pre-Trip Inspection – (NJAC 13:20-30.7 through 30.8) All drivers are required to perform PRE TRIP inspection. Drivers are to immediately advise the transportation office of all safety defects (lights out, brake not working properly, etc.) discovered during the pre-trip inspection. The mechanics will then be contacted and a decision will be made as to whether the bus will go on the road at that time. Drivers are subject to fines for items found to be in violation and not reported (NJAC 13:20-.17 (2,3,4,5)). (see Appendix B)
- En-Route Inspection –
- Sight – check gauges, smoke and children activity.
- Smell – odors, exhaust, smoke, gas, diesel oil, burning rubber
- Sound – unusual noises such as engine knocking or clashing gears
- Touch – loss of steering, brakes, power, transmission.
- Post Trip Inspection – In addition to looking for students remaining on the bus this inspection includes checking your bus for items left behind (backpacks, phones, etc.) Upon discovering items left behind notify the transportation office who will advise you what to do with the item(s). Check the bus for vandalism, close all windows, and sweep the bus. Rearrange the seat belts and other child restraint systems so they are ready to use on the next trip.