Making sure students are riding safe to school

By Brandi Bailey

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 30, 2013 at 12:50 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Before sending students off for the first day of school, parents can be confident their most popular mode of transportation is put through a series of strict testing before hitting the road.

The New York State Department of Transportation conducts bus inspections every six months.

"We do the safety items. All the interior checks, emergency buzzers, emergency checks, the tire and exhaust," said Jeff Corey with the DOT.

The Vestal bus garage holds 66 buses and transports 3,800 students daily.

Each school bus has a nearly 10-year lifespan, maxing out at roughly 150,000 miles.

The regional DOT serves 15 counties and 4,500 buses.

"We keep a running list of the buses and call the school district and give them a date that we'll be there with the bus numbers," Corey said.

Under a state mandated law, the school has two weeks after the time of the call from the DOT to make sure the bus is inspected.

"Every morning we have a quite a few moms and dads putting kids on buses expecting they're going to get a safe and comfortable ride to school, so that's our main function," said Roger Warren with the Vestal bus garage.

The drivers are also responsible to check buses before they leave the lots.

"There are procedures set up for pre-tripping, post-tripping, checking that bus before and after each run. Checking names of children making sure we get the children to the right place," Warren said.

Warren adds that any bus that was inspected Thursday will be due for another inspection at the end of February.

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