Courtesy of the office of Senator Tom Wyss
STATEHOUSE—State Sen. Tom Wyss’ (R-Fort Wayne) legislation to improve private bus safety passed the House of Representatives recently by a 82-13 vote.
As amended, Senate Bill 238 would require the Indiana State Police (ISP) to establish a program to inspect private buses, which would be conducted by ISP or a contracted entity.
Currently, federal law requires private buses to be inspected, but bus owners are not required to submit proof to federal or state authorities. Under Wyss’ bill, private bus owners would be required to provide the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles with an unexpired certificate of inspection in order to register or reregister their bus.
Wyss said he authored the bill in response to an incident last July in which a church-owned bus crashed off I-465 in Indianapolis. Three people were killed in the accident.
“There is currently no across-the-board standard for inspecting private buses,” Wyss said. “So when accidents happen like the one last summer, it’s often impossible to determine how frequently that bus was inspected. By regulating these inspections, we can better protect both drivers and passengers.”
SB 238 now returns to the Senate for concurrence. State Reps. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) and Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) are the bill’s sponsors in the House.