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Feb 23rd
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Home National & State Parks Yosemite Surprise Bus Inspection at Yosemite Finds Several Violations

Surprise Bus Inspection at Yosemite Finds Several Violations

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A surprise bus inspection at Yosemite National Park in California June 8-9, 2011 resulted in citations being issued to more than half of the vehicles gone over, and five buses being taken out of service.

A multi-agency task force made up of members from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the San Francisco Police Department, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the California Public Utility Commission inspected a total of 56 buses at the park.

yosemitebusinspection2The inspections involved mechanical and safety inspections, checks of driver's qualifications, and checking of the company's authority to transport passengers.

Of the 56 vehicles inspected, 23 vehicles were released with no violations. But 28 of the buses were cited, and issued minor violation notices for repairs.

There also were more serious issues discovered during the surprise inspection.

Five buses were placed out of service for mechanical deficiencies; five drivers were ordered out of service for driver's logbook violations and driving without the proper classification, and two buses were ordered out of service for not having California authority to transport passengers.

According to Park Ranger Kari Cobb, bus drivers first are told to drop off their passengers at Yosemite Lodge, then to drive over to the bus inspection area.

Once there, a team of inspectors go over each bus.

"No bus gets a pass," Cobb said. "During an inspection, every bus has to go through the process."

Depending on the type of violation found by inspectors, a bus either can go to the garage at Yosemite National Park for repairs, or if the bus can't be repaired, the bus company must dispatch a new bus to transport the passengers.

"We've done bus inspections multiple times over the years," Cobb said.

During 2010 Yosemite held bus inspections several times between June 9 and June 20, and again on Sept. 24.

During the June 2010 inspections, 153 buses were gone over. Of those buses inspected, 47 were released with no citations or found to be in perfect condition, while 55 received minor tickets, such as for a burned-out taillight. Another 35 written citations were issued for mechanical deficiencies, 22 buses were taken out of service, and 10 bus drivers were ordered out of service.

On Sept. 24, 2010, there were 33 bus inspections, with 18 buses found to be safe, while 12 received fix-it tickets. Only two were temporarily taken out of service, Cobb said.

"We want to make sure bus companies are following federal guidelines and state and laws," Cobb said. "We also want bus passengers visiting the park to know we are serious about their safety."

Roughly 250,000 bus passengers visited Yosemite National Park in 2010, Cobb said.

The inspections were done in support of "Operation Road Check," a national program considered to be the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world.

Approximately 14 trucks or buses are inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period each year in early June. Since 1988, over one million trucks and buses have been inspected as part of "Operation Road Check."

The program has provided educational literature and numerous safety events to educate people about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and roadside inspection programs.

National & State Parks