Faults found in one in three school buses in spot inspection

Dorset Echo: Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud

A CAMPAIGNER is demanding action after a spot inspection revealed faults in one in three school buses in Dorset.

Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud, said the findings will ‘greatly concern’ parents and school governors.

Dorset Police carried out the checks with officers from the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA) across the county.

Of the 61 school buses and minibuses which were inspected, 20 offences were found, ranging from lack of required ‘school bus’ signage and an expiration date on emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid supplies.

Inspectors also found eight taxis and private hire cars committing offences connected with lighting and tyres out of 14 vehicles that were checked.

In Dorchester, six vehicles were checked and five were found to have problems, including a defective seatbelt.
Four of the buses were ordered to be taken off the road if the issues were not fixed within 10 days.

Dorset County Council is responsible for school transport, though most services are contracted out to a number of companies.

A spokesperson for Damory, which runs a number of school bus services in Dorchester, confirmed that they owned three of the vehicles found to have problems.

The spokesperson said: “Passenger safety is our absolute top priority and we are proud of our vehicles - with rigorous maintenance checks and processes in place to ensure they continue to operate in top condition. Despite being given 10 days by VOSA to comply with the notices, these vehicles were taken immediately and checked. Any mechanical imperfections, no matter how small, were rectified.”

Mrs Morrissey, who lives in Poundbury, said: “I do think that of all the vehicles that need to be regularly and highly maintained, school transport should be top of the agenda.

“I would hope Dorset County Council can give a reason for this and assure us that vehicles are regularly checked.”

She added: “In this case the vehicles were quickly repaired because someone did a spot check out of the blue, but how long would they have been running with these faults if this hadn’t happened?

“The county council should be carrying out their own checks and reporting to every governing body every term on what the findings are.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: "At the beginning of March, Dorset County Council supported VOSA and Dorset Police in carrying out checks on school transport vehicles and drivers at schools around the county. These are random checks carried out on a regular basis to ensure the proper maintenance of vehicles and the safety of school pupils.

"On this occasion, some vehicles were found to have minor failings. Most of these were resolved very quickly on site, and the remainder were fixed within 24 hours of the inspections."

Comments (24)

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2:17pm Wed 9 Apr 14

wurzelbasher says...

Nothing too serious then!
Nothing too serious then! wurzelbasher
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Foursite says...

Is it the drivers failing on their daily checks ? or the operators failing to act on the faults reported? Well done VOSA and Dorset Police in trying to make our roads safer.
Is it the drivers failing on their daily checks ? or the operators failing to act on the faults reported? Well done VOSA and Dorset Police in trying to make our roads safer. Foursite
  • Score: 20

6:27pm Wed 9 Apr 14

angrydorseter says...

One of the busses was taken off the road due to a twisted seatbelt. Easily resolved by pulling it out and back in again - it'd happened on the journey. Glad to see they're checking the important things..
One of the busses was taken off the road due to a twisted seatbelt. Easily resolved by pulling it out and back in again - it'd happened on the journey. Glad to see they're checking the important things.. angrydorseter
  • Score: 12

11:11pm Wed 9 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

Dont worry kids,if Aunt Maggie is busy baking cakes she can still make sure your safe on the buses.
Dont worry kids,if Aunt Maggie is busy baking cakes she can still make sure your safe on the buses. westbaywonder
  • Score: 0

8:01am Thu 10 Apr 14

arlbergbahn says...

Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please? arlbergbahn
  • Score: 6

9:51am Thu 10 Apr 14

dorset & proud says...

Why did we need to know where Mrs Morrissey lives? - Does coming from Poundbury make that much difference?

Disappointing that defects were found but that's what spot checking is for and if the companies were given 10 days to rectify then it would suggest that the defects weren't that serious, otherwise they'd have been ordered off the road immediately.

Twisted seat belt isn't uncommon really is it?

I agree about sense of proportion.
Why did we need to know where Mrs Morrissey lives? - Does coming from Poundbury make that much difference? Disappointing that defects were found but that's what spot checking is for and if the companies were given 10 days to rectify then it would suggest that the defects weren't that serious, otherwise they'd have been ordered off the road immediately. Twisted seat belt isn't uncommon really is it? I agree about sense of proportion. dorset & proud
  • Score: 10

10:01am Thu 10 Apr 14

Foursite says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children.
If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board.
So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place. Foursite
  • Score: 10

10:16am Thu 10 Apr 14

angrydorseter says...

Foursite wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote:
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children.
If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board.
So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.
I think it's a rather dangerous assumption to make. Surely around school time you should assume there are likely to be more kids on the road, full stop. Parents cars don't carry this signage after all.

Drivers should *always* be on the lookout for hazards *all of the time* - not just when a sign is telling them to.
[quote][p][bold]Foursite[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.[/p][/quote]I think it's a rather dangerous assumption to make. Surely around school time you should assume there are likely to be more kids on the road, full stop. Parents cars don't carry this signage after all. Drivers should *always* be on the lookout for hazards *all of the time* - not just when a sign is telling them to. angrydorseter
  • Score: 5

11:41am Thu 10 Apr 14

livid99 says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
Agree, but it gives the ECHO an opportunity to use the word "SHOCK!!!" in its headline. I think "Parent's HORROR and DISGUST at twisted seatbelt HORROR!!!" would have been better though.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]Agree, but it gives the ECHO an opportunity to use the word "SHOCK!!!" in its headline. I think "Parent's HORROR and DISGUST at twisted seatbelt HORROR!!!" would have been better though. livid99
  • Score: 7

12:23pm Thu 10 Apr 14

shy talk says...

Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.
Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many. shy talk
  • Score: 6

1:04pm Thu 10 Apr 14

The Fish says...

shy talk wrote:
Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.
One must assume then that he did'nt use his brakes at all, but used his gears to slow himself/herself down - a very good and safe way of driving.
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.[/p][/quote]One must assume then that he did'nt use his brakes at all, but used his gears to slow himself/herself down - a very good and safe way of driving. The Fish
  • Score: -5

2:27pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Foursite says...

shy talk wrote:
Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.
You should have reported the police van to VOSA.

Agreed that the driver should have checked the roadworthyness of the vehicle as should mums and dads dropping kids off at school, and anyone in every day use.. But not many of us do..

However as a PCV driver this is part of the daily routine of the job, checking the vehicle,completing a defect sheet every day and reporting any defect to the operator who must act on it ASAP
Someone here is at fault and will now pay the consequences.

I am sure nobody will have action taken against them for a twisted seat belt.unless inoperable.
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.[/p][/quote]You should have reported the police van to VOSA. Agreed that the driver should have checked the roadworthyness of the vehicle as should mums and dads dropping kids off at school, and anyone in every day use.. But not many of us do.. However as a PCV driver this is part of the daily routine of the job, checking the vehicle,completing a defect sheet every day and reporting any defect to the operator who must act on it ASAP Someone here is at fault and will now pay the consequences. I am sure nobody will have action taken against them for a twisted seat belt.unless inoperable. Foursite
  • Score: 14

2:30pm Thu 10 Apr 14

angrydorseter says...

Foursite wrote:
shy talk wrote:
Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.
You should have reported the police van to VOSA.

Agreed that the driver should have checked the roadworthyness of the vehicle as should mums and dads dropping kids off at school, and anyone in every day use.. But not many of us do..

However as a PCV driver this is part of the daily routine of the job, checking the vehicle,completing a defect sheet every day and reporting any defect to the operator who must act on it ASAP
Someone here is at fault and will now pay the consequences.

I am sure nobody will have action taken against them for a twisted seat belt.unless inoperable.
Sadly, if it is twisted and didn't retract - at that moment it was inoperable (even if making it operate again was something so simple, you wouldn't think twice about doing it!). I bet even one of the school kids would figure it out.

Sadly, although a yes/no tick-list does mean problems cannot be sneaked through, it is somewhat inflexible where common sense should prevail..

S
[quote][p][bold]Foursite[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.[/p][/quote]You should have reported the police van to VOSA. Agreed that the driver should have checked the roadworthyness of the vehicle as should mums and dads dropping kids off at school, and anyone in every day use.. But not many of us do.. However as a PCV driver this is part of the daily routine of the job, checking the vehicle,completing a defect sheet every day and reporting any defect to the operator who must act on it ASAP Someone here is at fault and will now pay the consequences. I am sure nobody will have action taken against them for a twisted seat belt.unless inoperable.[/p][/quote]Sadly, if it is twisted and didn't retract - at that moment it was inoperable (even if making it operate again was something so simple, you wouldn't think twice about doing it!). I bet even one of the school kids would figure it out. Sadly, although a yes/no tick-list does mean problems cannot be sneaked through, it is somewhat inflexible where common sense should prevail.. S angrydorseter
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Thu 10 Apr 14

arlbergbahn says...

Foursite wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote:
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children.
If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board.
So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.
I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful.
[quote][p][bold]Foursite[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.[/p][/quote]I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 4

4:19pm Thu 10 Apr 14

angrydorseter says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Foursite wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote:
Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children.
If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board.
So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.
I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful.
Most busses use stickers - I assume this means it is not a requirement to *not* have them, just to have them where appropriate.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Foursite[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.[/p][/quote]I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful.[/p][/quote]Most busses use stickers - I assume this means it is not a requirement to *not* have them, just to have them where appropriate. angrydorseter
  • Score: 4

4:57pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Tinker2 says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Foursite wrote:
arlbergbahn wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?
I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.
I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful.
I also understand that in America a driver is not allowed to pass a stationary school bus which is loading, or unloading, passengers. Added safety.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Foursite[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Lack of school bus signage? Hardly life threatening, is it. Sense of proportion, perhaps, Campaigners, please?[/p][/quote]I think all road users should have fair warning that a bus is carrying school children. If at a bus stop there is a chance that a child may run from behind the bus it is helpful for traffic travelling in the oposite direction to know the bus has children on board. So yes it could be life threatening, and is why the the law is in place.[/p][/quote]I've often seen buses or coaches in ordinary service where they've forgotten to take the sign out of the back window, I wonder how much notice people do really take of it. Perhaps something like flashing lights like they have in America might be more useful.[/p][/quote]I also understand that in America a driver is not allowed to pass a stationary school bus which is loading, or unloading, passengers. Added safety. Tinker2
  • Score: 3

6:01pm Thu 10 Apr 14

jmc1 says...

The Fish wrote:
shy talk wrote:
Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.
One must assume then that he did'nt use his brakes at all, but used his gears to slow himself/herself down - a very good and safe way of driving.
What about an automatic
[quote][p][bold]The Fish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Well done Dorset Police. However, driving behind a police van yesterday the brake lights were not working. Did the driver carry out a daily inspection (DI) before accepting the vehicle? And how many private motorist carry out weekly checks on their vehicles? Judging by the amount that drive around with defective lights, I think not many.[/p][/quote]One must assume then that he did'nt use his brakes at all, but used his gears to slow himself/herself down - a very good and safe way of driving.[/p][/quote]What about an automatic jmc1
  • Score: -2

8:16pm Thu 10 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

dorset & proud wrote:
Why did we need to know where Mrs Morrissey lives? - Does coming from Poundbury make that much difference?

Disappointing that defects were found but that's what spot checking is for and if the companies were given 10 days to rectify then it would suggest that the defects weren't that serious, otherwise they'd have been ordered off the road immediately.

Twisted seat belt isn't uncommon really is it?

I agree about sense of proportion.
Come-on, Everybody knows where Aunt Maggie lives from Charlie boy to the lads from the Emerald isle!!
Do keep up at the back please.
[quote][p][bold]dorset & proud[/bold] wrote: Why did we need to know where Mrs Morrissey lives? - Does coming from Poundbury make that much difference? Disappointing that defects were found but that's what spot checking is for and if the companies were given 10 days to rectify then it would suggest that the defects weren't that serious, otherwise they'd have been ordered off the road immediately. Twisted seat belt isn't uncommon really is it? I agree about sense of proportion.[/p][/quote]Come-on, Everybody knows where Aunt Maggie lives from Charlie boy to the lads from the Emerald isle!! Do keep up at the back please. westbaywonder
  • Score: 5

8:44pm Thu 10 Apr 14

bob the bus says...

Since Damory took over the school runs theres been nothing but trouble fires crashes kids left at bus stops and now this. None of which would have happened if DCC had kept the services in house. I think the few buses they do still run do a marvellous job.
Since Damory took over the school runs theres been nothing but trouble fires crashes kids left at bus stops and now this. None of which would have happened if DCC had kept the services in house. I think the few buses they do still run do a marvellous job. bob the bus
  • Score: 6

10:07pm Thu 10 Apr 14

3rdAccount says...

Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........
Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........ 3rdAccount
  • Score: 12

10:12pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Sigurd Hoeberth says...

3rdAccount wrote:
Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........
Just another cafe scribbling middle-england female that needs to have a shovel put in her hand and shown a field that needs turning.
[quote][p][bold]3rdAccount[/bold] wrote: Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........[/p][/quote]Just another cafe scribbling middle-england female that needs to have a shovel put in her hand and shown a field that needs turning. Sigurd Hoeberth
  • Score: 13

9:06am Fri 11 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

Sigurd Hoeberth wrote:
3rdAccount wrote:
Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........
Just another cafe scribbling middle-england female that needs to have a shovel put in her hand and shown a field that needs turning.
Outstanding!!
Case of beer for that one Sigurd. Love it!!!
[quote][p][bold]Sigurd Hoeberth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]3rdAccount[/bold] wrote: Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........[/p][/quote]Just another cafe scribbling middle-england female that needs to have a shovel put in her hand and shown a field that needs turning.[/p][/quote]Outstanding!! Case of beer for that one Sigurd. Love it!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: 4

9:08am Fri 11 Apr 14

dorset & proud says...

3rdAccount wrote:
Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........
You know how the Echo works by now surely?

If there's a Poundbury or schools reference then they have Mrs M on speed dial and the stock, glum-faced picture ready to go.

If it's a Dorchester related article, or if he hasn't been mentioned for a few days then they have Alistair Chisholm on speed dial also!
[quote][p][bold]3rdAccount[/bold] wrote: Is this lady in the Echo every other week campaigning / complaining, or is it just my imagination........[/p][/quote]You know how the Echo works by now surely? If there's a Poundbury or schools reference then they have Mrs M on speed dial and the stock, glum-faced picture ready to go. If it's a Dorchester related article, or if he hasn't been mentioned for a few days then they have Alistair Chisholm on speed dial also! dorset & proud
  • Score: 8

1:10pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

bob the bus wrote:
Since Damory took over the school runs theres been nothing but trouble fires crashes kids left at bus stops and now this. None of which would have happened if DCC had kept the services in house. I think the few buses they do still run do a marvellous job.
Never was entirely in -house most were contracted to First & Dorset Community Transport have most of the Mini-Bus runs & they are a charity
[quote][p][bold]bob the bus[/bold] wrote: Since Damory took over the school runs theres been nothing but trouble fires crashes kids left at bus stops and now this. None of which would have happened if DCC had kept the services in house. I think the few buses they do still run do a marvellous job.[/p][/quote]Never was entirely in -house most were contracted to First & Dorset Community Transport have most of the Mini-Bus runs & they are a charity Dorset Guy1
  • Score: 0

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