A SCHOOL BUS that was stopped by gardaí this week due to the poor condition the vehicle was in has been removed from service.
The bus in County Clare was just one of a number of school buses stopped by gardaí for inspection on Tuesday.
As shown in the image above, the bus had a badly worn tyre and an extremely rusty body. Because of this, the school bus was prohibited from going further. Gardaí said court proceedings are to follow.
The Department of Education confirmed to TheJournal.ie it has been made aware of the case.
“We are aware of the specific case identified and we are working closely with Bus Éireann to ensure that our safety standards are upheld. Bus Éireann have informed the department that the vehicle in question has been removed from this run,” said the statement.
A Department of Education and Skills spokesperson said the “safety of children travelling on the school transport service is of paramount importance to the department and to Bus Éireann”.
Journey to school
Currently over 115,000 children, including almost 12,000 children with special educational needs, are being transported in over 4,500 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
The department said each school bus service is checked at least once every school term, adding that the school bus fleet (both Bus Éireann and private operator owned vehicles) is tested annually by the Road Safety Authority under the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test.
Buses providing services under the School Transport Scheme are tested and every vehicle must have an up-to-date roadworthiness certificate when a contracted operator is signed.
According to the department spokesperson, operators are obliged to keep the roadworthiness certificate current and up to date, and maintain the roadworthiness of each vehicle between annual tests.
Along with the gardaí, Bus Éireann also carries out regular random checks on all school transport services through their national team of school transport supervisors based in their local operating areas around the country, said the department.
A spokesperson added:
Bus Éireann has a robust system of preventative maintenance in place for all of their fleet, with additional inspections also arranged by Bus Éireann being carried out on both Bus Éireann and private operator owned vehicles by the FTA (Freight Transport Association) – who are an experienced and reputable body.
These checks are designed to complement the RSA’s annual statutory testing regime as an additional safety measure, on both a random and targeted basis, each year.
These vehicle inspections assess vehicle condition, safety, and maintenance standards utilised on the school transport scheme.
A national annual minimum sample of 16% of the school bus fleet is examined in the course of these inspections.