The program is part of the No Child Left Behind at the Bus Stop legislation. It requires every school district to carry out a series of tests on buses every week. The aim is to improve operating standards and provide better information on how the vehicles perform.
“By raising standards in key areas we will achieve better, more reliable buses, which means fewer delays for our kids,” said Dominic Gradeless, CEO of School Bus Testing Services, the company that has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to create and carry out the tests. “These tests show the strengths and weaknesses of every vehicle.”
Buses are tested on paint color, brake squeakiness, window grime, tire roundness, internal ambience, exhaust plume shape, light flash coordination, overall aesthetics, driver cheerfulness, driver personal hygiene, and mechanical performance.
But parents claim that the tests are unnecessary and too lengthy. Buses have to be taken off the road for a few hours every week, causing long delays that the program is supposed to eliminate. Kids don’t like the tests because they never know whether their buses will turn up on any given day.