The California Highway Patrol in partnership with the National Park Service, recently conducted a surprise bus inspection at Yosemite National Park.
The inspection last Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, was planned in support of the nationwide campaign to improve tour bus safety.
The goal of the operation was to ensure tour bus safety by removing unsafe vehicles and disqualified drivers from service; thereby reducing traffic collisions and traffic congestion on state highways and county roadways throughout the Central Valley. The inspections focused on driver and carrier credentials, hours of service, and overall mechanical readiness of each bus.
The location was selected because nearly every tour bus that enters Yosemite Valley is required to drive on state highways or county roadways within the Central Valley.
Although the inspections were conducted in Yosemite National Park, the operation helped to improve the safety on all Central Valley roadways. In order to minimize any inconvenience to Yosemite Valley guests, the inspections were conducted while passengers were on foot visiting the park.
During the two day operation, 63buses were inspected and approximately 50 violations were identified. Three buses were placed out of service for a variety of safety related violations including defective brakes and inoperative engine components. Also, five drivers were placed out of service due to licensing and logbook violations.
In most cases on-site repairs were made or replacement buses or drivers were immediately dispatched to the scene.
The CHP says it plans to conduct more unannounced tour bus inspections in the future.