Unwavering commitment to bus safety

Posted on January 26th, 2021

Char-Em buses receive 100 percent rating – again – in recent inspection

School children riding Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District buses and their families can feel confident that the fleet has received the highest safety ratings as determined by the Michigan State Police.

“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 Phil Haldaman, the ISD’s Transportation Coordinator. “Our dedicated staff and mechanics deserve much credit for this effort.”

Haldaman noted that earning a 100 percent safety rating is a significant accomplishment, and this marks the ISD’s sixth year in a row of hitting the highest bar. “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. “The safety of our students is riding on the outcome of these inspections,” Haldaman said.

Drivers are also 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.

Jim Rummer, Director of Career and Technical Education who also oversees ISD transportation coordinators, added: “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 serve students, transporting just under 900,000 children to and from school each day over 10 million miles a year.

“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.”

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