Facebook Twitter

SAFE SCHOOL BUSES

SHARE SAFE SCHOOL BUSES

The walls in Jack Graviet's office are pegged with old license plates - reminders of his decades of work as a safety inspection expert.

"My other car is a school bus," a sign around one of the plates reads.Volumes of information on U.S. transportation safety bulge from shelves behind his desk.

Graviet, transportation director for the Davis School District for the past four years, takes his work seriously.

"We transport 17,000 kids every morning and afternoon," he said. "You've got a lot of people affected if a bus has a problem."

He'll excitedly tell you about new regulations that make it impossible for gas tanks on buses to explode. "Not even a Sherman tank could get to one of them," he says.

Talk of steel plate floor boards, rounded tops to reduce the effects of a rollover and escape hatches in bus ceilings lights up his eyes.

And he feels strongly about ridding districts, particularly his, of buses that were made before 1977.

Pre-1977 buses just aren't as strong as those built later. Seats aren't as well-padded and relatively sharp corners abound inside. And gas tanks are more vulnerable during a collision, he said.

"(Davis) still has 20 in our fleet, and I'm doing what I can to get rid of them," he said.

Many of today's state safety standards were initiated by Graviet when he was a supervisor with the Utah Highway Patrol. That means he's now trying to adhere to regulations for school bus safety that he created. And he's happy to do it.

"The tougher they are on us, the better we'll be," he said.

In fact, Graviet would like to see UHP officials do more surprise "random" checks of school buses throughout the state.