PSC conducts bus inspection blitz in Eastern Panhandle

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. – In an ongoing effort to improve highway safety, Public Service Commission Transportation Officers are conducting a two-day, targeted inspection of commercial passenger buses in the Harpers Ferry area. 

The blitz is part of the PSC’s year-round effort to raise the bar for bus safety and to protect bus passengers by taking unsafe operators and vehicles off the road.

Officers will be conducting Level 1 inspections focusing on the vehicles’ brake systems, suspension, tires, steering mechanisms, engine defects, emergency exits, lighting and signaling systems. 

The officers will also evaluate the driver’s required certification, insurance, hours of service, medical fitness, commercial driver’s license, seatbelt use and whether the drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The officers will ensure all buses and drivers they inspect meet all Federal and State safety regulations.

The commission does not have jurisdiction over school buses or buses owned by government subdivisions.

According to Reggie Bunner of the Public Service Commission, “The most common violations found during bus inspections are lighting issues and tires.”

Citations that are issued for violations are processed through the magistrate court system and fines can run as high as $1,000.

Although officers inspect buses throughout the year, a concentrated enforcement activity enables them to inspect multiple vehicles in a central location.  To ensure the safety of passengers, buses are not stopped while on the road unless there is an immediate issue that needs to be addressed. 

Bunner stated, “Our goal is to make bus travel as safe as possible for the traveling public.  Every trip, every time.” 

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