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How Safe Are Brick's School Buses?

State database now chronicles school bus safety records

School buses are inspected twice each year and must pass muster with the state Motor Vehicle Commission before your children can board them on their way to school.

But sometimes, a bus won't make the grade.

A check of state records shows Brick's fleet of school buses beat the statewide average in terms of the number of buses temporarily taken out of service.

Each year, the state's biannual, 180-point inspections result in approximately 47 percent of school vehicles being temporarily placed out-of service, with 12 percent being issued 30-day rejection stickers. Violations can range from serious issues, such as brake and steering system problems, to minor defects affecting interior dome and step lighting, state officials say.

In most cases, the violations issued are addressed and re-inspected during the same visit, the MVC said.

Brick's 187 school buses had an initial inspection out-of-service failure rate of 39 percent, 8 percent better than the New Jersey average.

The records show that 11 school buses were issued 30-day rejection stickers. The majority of these violations were for minor issues such as inoperable windshield washer jets. One of the buses was issued a rejection because the driver's heater fan only worked on one speed.

Buses taken out of service had problems that ranged from a fluid leak, to faulty reverse lights, to a seat determined to be in a poor condition. Another bus had an oil leak. Several had brake warning lights on and others had tire pressure issues.

The buses were inspected in late August, and several have been re-examined and deemed safe, while others have re-exams pending.

Information on school bus safety has always been part of the public record, however obtaining such information usually involved filing a formal request under the state's Open Public Records Act, waiting for the data to be compiled, then picking up the information on one's own time.

But last week, that all changed when the MVC decided to make school bus safety information readily available on the web for all to easily see. Parents can even search for their child's specific bus by typing in the bus's license plate number and searching.

"We want parents to feel comfortable that the vehicle used to transport their child each school day is safe and ready to go," said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez, in a statement announcing the new database.

Parents who want to access the database can do so by visiting this web page.

Tom Rusk October 15, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Dump the shool board incumbents........time for a change
Mr. Smith October 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Brick's 187 school buses had an initial inspection out-of-service failure rate of 39 percent, 8 percent better than the New Jersey average. That is one heck of a job done by a understaffed garage with mechanics that are paid way below the average for a diesel bus mechanics. This says a lot for there supervisor and the staff. I say job well done
bayboat October 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Failing a bus because the fan for heat only has one speed?!? How exactly does that affect safety?
Judi October 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I say unacceptable! Are any of YOUR children on these buses?
bs October 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Welcome to Transportation! The Brick Township Public Schools Transportation Department, under Mr. Joseph Sangiovanni, Director of Transportation, is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all students while riding school buses and ensures that the highest standards are adhered to by those who utilize Brick student transportation services. Each day the Brick Township Public School District transports over 11,200 students. The safety and security of our riders is our number one priority! Is this the same Joe Sangiovanni serving on Brick Townships council? Double dipping for a greater pension?
bs October 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Did you mean dump the director of transportation ? Welcome to Transportation! The Brick Township Public Schools Transportation Department, under Mr. Joseph Sangiovanni, Director of Transportation, is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all students while riding school buses and ensures that the highest standards are adhered to by those who utilize Brick student transportation services. Each day the Brick Township Public School District transports over 11,200 students. The safety and security of our riders is our number one priority! Is this the same Joe Sangiovanni serving on Brick Townships council? Double dipping for a greater pension?
anthony ralulci October 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Sure is the same mr. sangiovanni and his wife and daughter are a trip !
Typical Obama Voter October 15, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Didn't I see Sangiovani complaining about Ducey and Toth wanting to hire their political hacks at townhall? Sangiovani and his family are the biggest appointed political hacks in town.
bs October 15, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Yes you did see that right! Along with the hire of missing Bellu, Brando on BTMUA, Deluca at Lakewood DMV, Stevie on TRMUA, Matthews and Thulen Ya think they are working Will Brick ever have council members that do not zoom each other? Mayor Steve should be on top of Joe Sangiovanni. STEVE IS THE MAYOR for now. He should be helping the families feel safe on Brick Schools transportation, Instead of working for TRMUA!
mama mia October 15, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Just asking how much $$ would our town save without busing? ( or limited) I walked to & from school everyday ( mile & 1/2) anything MORE then that got buses for a small section of our town & for disabled students.. But the majority of us walked ( Morris Cnty) I mean, with Michelle O making everything a issue about over weight children, wouldnt this FORCE kids into walking everyday? I see bus stops with in 75 yards of eachother, & bus stops 2 blocks away from the school?? really that nessary?
Gary LaFetra October 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Yes this is the same Joe Sangiovanni that is on the council. He must be right on top of things??
Jerry Belle October 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Wondering why you'd post about BOE members...do you have any specifics regarding their involvement in the bus situation in Brick or are you just a shill for the opposition?
Jerry Belle October 15, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Yea, you walked a mile and 1/2 up a hill both ways in snow drifts 5 stories high....yawnnnnnn. In today's environment of pedophiles and child abductions a bus trip is far safer than walking to school. There's also the matter of having to hire crossing guards too... a kid in Brick/Ocean County is far safer on a bus than walking and having a 90 year old driver on 12 different medications running them over, because they mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal.....
Judi October 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Not a good idea considering how many parts of Brick don't even have sidewalks
bulldad October 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Agree. Sussex Cnty. cross guard where by the school but entire walk. some area sidewalks but not all & YEAP up& down hills... sad that kids have to be so OVERprotected & aren't allowed to resolve issues or walk to school without parents having them on GPS. YES terrible things DO happen, But with kids with cell phones now they are safer than ever. My Grandson is 12 & uses the Philly subway all the time & can manager himself even with bad people in the world. & usually the people that abuse kids are people they know & trust and they have their guard down & trust in them.. sad
bulldad October 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM
maybe limit the buses, kids can walk a block or 2 ( drum point by the condo has sidewalks by Emma haven school) I myself have seen children get dropped off at these areas
WMS826 October 16, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Our school taxes here are pretty good compared to other towns. Any talk about eliminating buses is ridiculous in a town as big and congested as this one. As far as resolving issues such as in fights while walking home which by that I assume you refer to. Things are a bit more violent today then they were years ago. Also more kids are victims of assault and molesters than years back. Private bus companies are worse,at least we have the same drivers for years and it is not a revolving door of drug addicts and elderly people like it is there. Look at how many kids were left on buses in Ocean twp last year.
tracie October 16, 2012 at 02:21 AM
OK so I grew up in Toms River which also has limited walkers. Both of my parents walked back and forth to school and yes up and down hills both ways with a lot of snow from North Jersey. That being said, they will be the first to admit that the world is an entirely different place! The little girl that just dissappeared in Colorado and was found deceased had a cell phone...It was in her back pack which they found in another location. So unless it is in there hand at all times it is useless! There was just four attempted abductions in North Jersey in the last week! I would much rather have my kids on a bus than even take a chance. Is it worth the risk???Not in my eyes! My kids are 16 and 11 and you would think that would be old enough but the last attempted abuction was on a 10 year old so they don't really have to be little kids do they? Is it really that big of a deal to keep the kids safe for as long as we can? As far as kids being obese, how about we watch what they eat? When my parents were kids they weren't eating fast food multiple times a week or drinking soda everyday. When I was a kid, I played soccer a couple of times a week and was outside playing kickball in my yard. Not sitting in the house playing video games or watching tv. How about we reduce some of these things instead of the 15 minute bus ride. Just a thought....I am very happy with the busing in this town and have no complaints with the employees or how its run & No I am not friends/related to any of them.
concernedmomof2 October 16, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I would never let my kids walk to school..one to the getto looking high school and Lake riv...Brick is not the way it was back in the early 90's when i first moved here...and neither are the school systems...instead of putting all this time and $$$ into the library which was perfectly fine...put the money into Brick high that looks like a school from Paterson....my kid says things smell...never soap...drugs going on in bathroom...you name it...and also instead of all the $$$ from library put it towards the buses.....MAKE BETTER DECISIONS BRICK.... Things are so much different than when I grew up...I was able to be in neighborhood for hours at a time and parents had no care or worry...about psychos...they rang a bell we came home....NOT NOW...im on my kids constantly... i think the busing in town is great...and US single working moms need it...so all you complaining ...zip it!!!!
Hollowman October 16, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Not True about kids being victims of assault and molesters than prior years. Here's a quote from one of many study's showing a huge decline in child abuse, both sexual and physical: "According to the nation's top experts, children are actually safer from physical and sexual abuse than they have been for decades. A National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect issued by the Department of Health and Human Services found that both physical and sexual abuse of children have dropped significantly over the past 20 years: From 2005 to 2006, an estimated 553,000 children suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse, down 26 percent from the estimated 743,200 abuse victims in 1993. And between 1993 and 2005, the number of sexually abused children dropped 38 percent, while number of children who experienced physical abuse fell by 15 percent and those who were emotionally abused declined by 27 percent." The whole article can be found http://www.livescience.com/17285-child-sexual-abuse-numbers.html
Hollowman October 16, 2012 at 04:17 AM
That isn't to say people shouldn't be concerned for their kids safety, my opinion is that it is because of people being more aware and cautious that there has been a drop of incidents in the first place (as well as other factors).
clamdigger October 16, 2012 at 09:49 AM
@ concernedmomof2; you're right. the world should revolve around single working moms. geeeze.
clamdigger October 16, 2012 at 09:55 AM
@bayboat; frostbite on the toes is no joking matter. can you imagine what would happen if the drivers tootsies got too cold?
clamdigger October 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM
@ Judi; really? there doesn't really seem to be anything that says the buses are rolling death traps. sounds like a lot of things that need to be reported because the problems are on someones standardized punch list.
kimbo October 16, 2012 at 03:44 PM
very sad that you all have let the negative things in this world make you all so afraid & now you're putting that on your children. I hear what you all are saying about things that have happened to children ( that stuff has always happened) we were just not informed of it because the media didn't what hystic parents afraid of letting your kids walk to school. Both of my parents worked so we didn't have a choice of our parents driving us in we had to walk. I grew up walking to school, it was threw a industrial park over railroad tracks, & crossing 2 major highways ( that was the short cut) most of the time with a group of friends & to honesty some of the greatest bonding conversations happened then( you remember when children & teens actually had conversations with other?) & NOT their faces buried in a phone. I too am a victim of abuse ( by someone that I knew) NOT from the strange guy sitting in the park that I had to walk thru to get to school ... There is nothing wrong with allowing your kids to walk to school if you trust your children have enough street smarts ( sadly most children do not anymore bcz they lack that being taught from their parents)You should allow them to leave the bubble you have created around them. & I guess if you think Brick is a ghetto you wouldn't be able TO teach your children how to have any street smarts or skills. There REALLY is a world outside of Brick ...
kimbo October 16, 2012 at 03:47 PM
& BTW to answer the how safe the buses are, ask the drivers...when no one is around, they will give you a honest answer
gran10 October 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM
agree.... I grew up walking to school in Jersey city, as Did my children did starting from kindergarten, we then moved soon after that, to a rural area of morris cnty. While they did have buses, I lived just about 1/2 a mile from the school & they didn't ALLOW me to let them walk to school... they enjoyed the walk in the morning, it helped wake them up, & they got a little exercise in the morning... If you teach your children & this is what they know, its what they are use to ... Its the people that have never been out of there suburb world that are young parents now, that don't understand what they have never experienced,
Joe P October 19, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The double dippers are draining our system, taking resources away from necessary services, and adding to our tax burdens!

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