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As Safety Concerns Rise, Pennsylvania State Police Continue Inspecting Tour Buses

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A Montgomery County man was killed when a bus operating between Philadelphia and New York crashed March 14, 2011 along the NJ Turnpike. (credit: CBS New York)

A Montgomery County man was killed when a bus operating between Philadelphia and New York crashed March 14, 2011 along the NJ Turnpike. (credit: CBS New York)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A couple of deadly inter-city commuter bus crashes in the northeastern US earlier this month (see related story) has focused a lot of attention on the safety of those buses.

Here in Pennsylvania, state police have been actively involved in motor coach inspections for the last three years.

State troopers, along with civilian motor carrier enforcement officers, stay very busy in Pennsylvania, checking for mechanical issues that could turn a tour bus into a death trap.

On the exterior they will check the lights, the tires, wheels, suspension, and brake systems. On the interior, they inspect the engine compartments and emergency window exits.

Kevin Stewart, with the Pennsylvania State Police commercial vehicle safety division, says the checks are done often.

“We generally try to do those inspections at locations where we have a significant volume of motor coaches — we try to look at those destinations,” Stewart says.

He says that includes state parks, casinos, fairs, and concert venues.  Buses with seriously violations may cause the police to take the bus immediately out of service. Troopers also check the drivers to make sure they are properly licensed and that their qualifications meet state regulations.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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