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School bus recall not expected to disrupt service


About 180 Carroll County school buses are being recalled by the manufacturer for a safety modification, but the process will not interrupt service to students, said the school system's supervisor of transportation.

The buses must have reinforcements added to the cage that protects the fuel tank. The work can be done during the hours when the buses are not transporting children, James Doolan said.

He said the buses pose no immediate danger to students and will not be taken off the road before the modifications are made.

"We've been operating since 1978 with these buses and there hasn't been a problem," Mr. Doolan said. "Yes, it needs a recall, but it's not a major risk. We're going to handle it as quickly and efficiently as we can to ensure the safety of the kids."

The nationwide recall of 185,000 buses by Navistar International Transportation Corp. of Chicago stemmed from a test done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said company spokeswoman Deborah Spak.

"The cages did not hold up the way they were supposed to," Ms. Spak said. If the cage were to break during an accident, it could allow damage to the fuel tank, leading to a leak and possibly a fire.

No such accidents have happened on the road with the buses that use this construction, Ms. Spak said.

Navistar, which makes only the bus chassis and not the body, will absorb the cost of reinforcing the cages, Ms. Spak said.

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