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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Busses pass inspection

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Chuck Tharp checks out a bus during his annual inspection at the Clay Community School Corporation Bus Garage. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
Every year, inspectors from the Indiana State Police tackle the task of checking buses within every school corporation statewide.

ISP Master Trooper Chuck Tharp is responsible for inspecting buses for approximately 20 school corporations, including the Clay Community School Corporation (CCSC).

And for the 17th consecutive year, CCSC Transportation Director Frank Misner said the corporation has passed its inspection. Tharp concluded inspecting corporation buses Monday.

"We didn't have a whole lot of problems," Misner said. "The mechanics and drivers have done a great job."

Unlike the past, Tharp's inspection process has been broken, so to speak.

In 2009, a reduction in force (RIF) of 42 motor carrier officers forced the inspection process to change.

As a result, Tharp is the only person inspecting the buses for those 20 corporations and he essentially has to conduct those inspections year-round.

"I think this is a great inconvenience for (mechanics, etc.)," Tharp told The Brazil Times. "You're coming into somebody's house and asking them to change their plans."

Tharp said he began the scheduling process for the inspections in November 2010. He has to be concluded by September this year, but expects to be done with his by July.

"I built in plenty of extra days," he said.

The inspections haven't changed much. For example, all safety and operational feature checks are the same. However, dirt on a bus is viewed from a different perspective now, as he said he considers it dirt from that specific day.

"I'm very flexible," Tharp said. "And I ask (the corporations) to be very flexible."

The Clay Community School Corporation has 74 buses Tharp had to inspect. Through the course of the past two weeks, he has averaged nine buses daily when he was at the CCSC bus garage. He finished Monday with 13 total buses.

"Now it's just one guy," Misner told The Brazil Times. "Instead of a two-day inspection, now it's a 13-day inspection."

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