Some bus drivers in Philadelphia were caught by surprise Friday as the Philadelphia Police Department used federal money to conduct unannounced safety inspections.
Officer Chester Hampton stood in front of a big white bus near Fifth and Arch streets and led the driver through some basic tests. “Let’s start with the lights, OK? Four-way flashers? Good. Turn signal? Good. Turn signal? Good. Wipers with fluid? Good. Foot on the brake, put it in reverse.” That all went smoothly, but a check under the bus did not produce good news. Hampton explained the violations. “Based on our inspection of the undercarriage of the bus, the driver has an air leak from the hose area, so that is an out-of-service violation. Also, he is leaking brake fluid onto the disk of that front-axle, left-side brake area. And that, again, is an out-of service violation,” said Hampton.
“Which means the bus will be out of service and cannot be driven until those out-of-service violations are repaired,” he said. “Which means he’ll probably have to have it towed from this location.” A police department spokesman said strengthening commercial bus and driver safety is a serious matter. He said these impromptu inspections are catching true safety risks.