MEDIA RELEASEMVC Goes Back to School
(TRENTON) – Reinforcing the importance of the state’s stringent school bus inspection program, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is reminding residents of the availability of a powerful tool that allows parents to check the safety records of their child's school bus from the comfort of their own home. The School Bus Report Card is available 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week at njmvc.gov.
"The Christie Administration wants parents to feel comfortable that the vehicle used to transport their child each school day is safe and ready to go,” said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “This online tool is easy to use and navigate, connecting parents directly to their child’s School Bus Report Card.”
Twice a year, the MVC inspects all New Jersey-registered school vehicles utilizing a stringent 180-point checklist that ensures that only the safest vehicles are permitted to transport students. The inspection results are then entered into the MVC's online report card for parents or guardians to view.
In addition to improved search functions, the School Bus Report Card calculates and supplies the percentage of buses within a particular school yard or bus company that were either initially approved or put out-of-service. The report also details the following:
Also available online is the MVC’s School Bus Safety Activity and Coloring Book. The book is designed to teach young New Jerseyans what they need to know about how to safely ride a school bus.
During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 44,000 school vehicles, including school buses, small school vehicles, dual-purpose vehicles and summer camp vehicles were subject to scheduled inspections on a biennial basis by the MVC. Access to vehicle fleet locations for on-site inspections, which is provided under the School Bus Enhanced Safety Inspection Act, allows for better monitoring of carrier operations and maintenance procedures, interaction with mechanics and operational staff, access to inspection and repair records and the ability to ensure more timely inspection of vehicles.
During that period, the scheduled inspections resulted in 21,378 school vehicles being temporarily placed out-of-service and 6,142 being issued 30-day rejection stickers. Violations can range from serious issues, such as brake and steering system problems, to minor defects affecting interior dome and step lighting. Most often, the violations issued are addressed and re-inspected during the same visit. Once the MVC re-inspected the vehicles, approximately 91 percent were deemed safe for the road.
In addition to scheduled inspections, the School Bus Inspection Unit also performs monthly, unannounced inspections with the New Jersey State Police as part of the New Jersey School Bus Task Force. These inspections are performed to ensure that bus companies and school districts are keeping accurate records and completing regular maintenance on their buses in the months between the MVC’s visits.