Unwavering commitment to bus safety

Char-Em ISD buses receive 100 percent rating for eighth year in a row

CHARLEVOIX – School children riding Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District buses and their families can feel confident that the fleet has once again received the highest safety ratings as determined by the Michigan State Police – the eighth consecutive year at 100 percent.

“While we have this amazing record of 100 percent safety ratings, we never take it for granted. Each year we work just as hard to achieve that rating for our students, staff and families. There is nothing more important to us than safety across all aspects of our organization,” said Phil Haldaman, Char-Em ISD Transportation Coordinator.

The Michigan State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division recently awarded the ISD with the certificate for the 2020-21 school year.

Haldaman noted that earning a 100 percent safety rating is a significant accomplishment. “When parents access their respective school district’s bus fleet information online and they scroll down to Char-Em’s stats, they’ll be pleased to see a nice legacy of safety with our fleet,” he added.

The inspection process is exhaustive and takes place on every bus used throughout the state each year, as required by state and federal law. Every system both inside and outside of the bus is examined: lights, brakes, tire tread depth, exhaust system, seat condition, flooring, handrails, engine and component systems, electrical and heating systems.

Jeff Crouse, Char-Em ISD Superintendent, said the safety rating is a team effort among the ISD’s hired mechanics, transportation administration, business office staff, and the drivers and attendants themselves who are steadfast in examining vehicles. Drivers are required by law to perform a detailed daily safety inspection of their bus; if any anomalies are detected, they bring it to Haldaman’s attention and the vehicle is brought to mechanics for a deeper, technical inspection and repair.

“Our staff is razor-focused on child safety relative to their transportation needs, and we are very proud to have received another 100 percent passing inspection certificate from Michigan State Police inspectors,” said Crouse. “We transport the most precious cargo there is: our kids. We have the best staff on the case, every day, throughout Charlevoix, Emmet and northern Antrim counties.”


About Char-Em’s coverage area

Char-Em ISD covers 1,200 square miles of territory, with 23 buses accumulating over 700,000 miles annually. In the state of Michigan, 17,000 school buses transport over 700,000 children to and from school each day, driving over 162 million miles per year statewide.

“The Michigan State Police inspectors carefully inspect each and every school bus, one at a time,” Haldaman said. “Together, everyone in the inspection chain at Char-Em works harmoniously to ensure one goal is consistently achieved: students under our charge are transported to and from school safely via the safest form of transportation on the planet, the black-and-yellow school bus.”

The inspections are completed each year in June. 

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