Quick fix makes buses safer

Only automatic transmission buses manufactured before March 24, 2011, lack this safety feature. Buses manufactured since that time come equipped with the brake interlock.

Gary Wagner, Fluvanna’s bus shop supervisor, said that 19 county school buses were not initially equipped with the brake interlock.

All but one of those buses, however, were retrofitted with the brake interlock in July. The last bus repair was held up by a manufacturer supply delay, but was completed Aug. 10. All Fluvanna buses are now compliant with the new safety standard.

“It was a pretty simple fix,” Wagner said. “It took about five minutes apiece.”

There were no issues with buses rolling before the fix took place, Wagner said. “None of the older buses have ever had that system in them whatsoever,” he said.

Grimes stressed that the fix came from an abundance of caution. Though all Fluvanna buses are now up to standard, she said, “not being retrofitted does not mean that the buses are not safe. The retrofitting makes the buses safer.”

Bus manufacturers paid for the fix, which came at no cost to Fluvanna, Wagner said.

“I’m very proud of the efforts of our mechanics and transportation staff to get our buses safely adjusted in an efficient manner,” said Superintendent Chuck Winkler.

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