A school bus company in New Haven failed to fix a problem that could have put students’ safety in jeopardy, made up records showing the problem was fixed and put the bus back on the road, officials said.
The First Student Bus Company falsified maintenance records and operated a handicap-accessible bus recklessly in New Haven according to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
"We received a tip that a bus we had put out of service in August and had been reported to have been repaired was not repaired and was back in service," said James Rio, with the D.M.V.
The company had submitted paperwork to the D.M.V. showing the problem had been fixed. When inspectors returned to the bus yard after receiving the anonymous tip, they found the problem still existed, said Rio.
"This was a pretty significant problem and it deals directly with the suspension and steering of the bus. It's called the kingpin. If that fails the bus is going to lose control," said Rio.
The bus company is calling it all a misunderstanding. They notified the D.M.V. the problem was fixed, only to discover on the reinspection that they fixed the wrong thing, said spokesperson Nicol Jones.
A statement put out by the company read, "We undertake an aggressive preventative maintenance program for every single bus. We believe that the situation at issue is an isolated incident and are working with the D.M.V."
The company now plans to check over all its New Haven buses, Jones said. They will also meet with school district officials and the D.M.V. next week.
D.M.V officials said it the investigation of the company will go on.
"This is alarming for us," Rio said. "Our charge is to ensure the safety of the students throughout the state."