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Transportation Department earns near perfect passing rating on state school bus safety inspection
september 13, 2012

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Call the Communications Office at (518) 695-3255, ext. 1245 for more information on this story.

Schuylerville’s Transportation Department has once again earned a near-perfect score (98.7 percent) on its New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) bus safety inspection. All school buses in the state are subject to a comprehensive and rigorous inspection by NYSDOT at least once every six months.

“Your commendable performance indicates a strong dedication to safety and a commitment to sound maintenance standards and practices,” said Lawrence Scotto, acting director of the NYSDOT’s Passenger Carrier Safety Bureau.

Schuylerville’s Director of Transportation Don Young attributes the success to the commitment and dedication of Transportation Department’s staff members. “The high safety ratings from the state are the result of the diligence and commitment from mechanics Chuck Barss and Brian Greb,” Young said. “We’re fortunate to have them.”

While commenting about the state inspections, Young also pointed out the commitment to student safety that occurs each and every day. This includes a process called “pre-tripping” that takes place before each school vehicle goes out.

“The process is similar to the pre-flight checks that are done for airplanes,” Young explained. “Our drivers check everything on the bus—brakes, tires, lights, doors, hatches etc.—to make sure everything is operating properly. If something isn’t operating at 100 percent on a bus—even if it’s one small bulb—the vehicle doesn’t leave the campus.”

The pre-trips happen every time a bus is going to be driven, not just once in the morning before the first bus run. “So, depending on the activities taking place throughout the school day and after school, pre-tripping procedures are likely done many times throughout the day,” Young added.

Schuylerville’s bus drivers are also provided with training throughout the year, honing their driving skills and learning the latest safety procedures. “I’ve seen a lot of districts and their drivers. They’re all safe, but our drivers are a step above. They have great attitudes and they’re proud of what they do,” Young said, adding that the staff is often like one big family. “And the glue that helps hold us all together is Cindy Perkins, our dispatcher. “Cindy schedules all the bus runs and keeps everyone organized. She’s one of the primary reasons our drivers are getting to where they need to be and making sure the students are where they need to be.”

“The bottom line? Schuylerville’s Transportation Department staff members are taking care of Schuylerville students as if the kids were their own children,” Young concluded. “We’re a well-oiled machine…if you’ll pardon the pun.”