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School Bus Inspections

In Newfoundland and Labrador, all new and used school buses are inspected by Service NL Highway Enforcement Officers when they enter the province, before they are placed in service and permitted to transport passengers. Each bus is required to meet all provincial and federal safety standards.

Subsequently, all school buses are inspected a minimum of three times per year to ensure they continue to meet the standards.

Official Inspection Station Inspections

In July each year, and again in December, all buses must be inspected at an Official Inspection Station external which employs a journeyperson mechanic who is authorized to inspect commercial vehicles. Inspection certificates must be presented to Service NL before the bus is permitted to enter service and begin transporting passengers.

Service NL Inspections

Beginning in September, all buses are subject to unannounced, mandatory inspections by Service NL Highway Enforcement Officers.

Beginning in January, 30 per cent of each operator’s fleet is selected at random for unannounced inspections by Service NL Highway Enforcement Officers. If significant issues are detected, up to 100 per cent of the operator’s fleet may be inspected at the officer’s discretion. At any time throughout the year, Service NL may choose to do additional unannounced inspections of an operator’s fleet, especially in cases where a complaint has been received.

As a result of Service NL’s inspections, buses are placed in one of three categories:

  • Pass: On the date of inspection, the bus was found to be free of defects, or had minor defects that did not preclude the safe operation of the vehicle, either with or without passengers.
  • Restricted Service: On the date of inspection the bus was found to have defects that would deem the vehicle unsafe to transport (pick up and discharge) passengers, however, was not in an unsafe mechanical condition to be driven to a place of repair. Restricted service defects include, but are not limited to: inoperative stop arm, inoperative flashing warning lights, inoperative emergency exit.
  • Out of Service: On the date of inspection, the bus was found to have defects that would compromise the safe operation of the vehicle and could present a safety risk to the driver and/or other motorists. The bus must be repaired on site or moved to a place of repair by towing or float truck. Out of Service defects include, but are not limited to: failed brake test, fuel line leak, steering defect.

Return to Service Requirements

If a bus has been placed on Restricted Service or Out of Service, it must be repaired to an acceptable standard and proof of the repair must be verified by Service NL before the bus can be returned to service.

Inspection Reports

2017 School Bus Inspections: January – May PDF (316 KB)

2016 School Bus Inspections: August – November PDF (539 KB)

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