Police officers in operation to check school coaches are safe for our pupils
A TEAM of police officers have been making sure school buses and coaches are safe.
Officers from the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (Crest) were targeting buses taking children to John Port School, in Main Street, Etwall.
Fourteen buses were checked and six had minor defects like minor corrosion, seat-belt defects and an oil leak, one driver not wearing glasses when he should have been and one with an error on its operator's licence.
Sergeant Steve Todd, of Derby South Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "It was pleasing to see no serious or life-endangering defects requiring any buses to be taken off the road."
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Ian Windmill, head of the Crest team, said Operation Coachman was a national project to test of the safety of buses transporting children.
He said: "In many cases, operators buy older vehicles to use just as school buses. We want to make sure that they are safe to reassure parents."
Derbyshire police's Crest team was checking that the drivers had the correct licences and that seatbelts and emergency exits were working correctly.
They were joined by officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) and the HMRC fuel testing unit.
Vosa was checking vehicles' wheels and that tyres were legal. They also checked that brakes, steering joints and that seatbelts were working.
The HMRC was checking all buses and coaches for red diesel, a fuel which is used in off-road vehicles such as tractors but cannot be used on the road because of a lower rate of duty.
The same team also carried out a Safedrive exercise in at Swarkestone Bridge, checking for people speeding, wearing seatbelts and using their mobile phones while driving.
Two vehicles were found running on red diesel, there were 16 seat belt offences, seven mobile phone offences, six cars with excessive window tinting, two with illegal tread on tyres or defective tyres and five with illegal number plates.