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Grundy County Schools partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Thursday, April 24 to ensure the brake safety of county school buses. An inspection station was set up at the Coalmont junction that immediately let Grundy County Schools Transportation Supervisor Billy Moon and THP officers know if the brakes on school buses were performing correctly.
“What you are seeing is a $1.4 million mobile inspection and command center,” Lt. John Harmon said from inside the inspection station. “As far as I know, we have the most state-of-the-art vehicle around. This motor carrier, obtained with a grant through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is primarily used for truck and bus inspection.
On Thursday, THP officers monitored Grundy County school buses as they stopped at the junction red light using infrared technology. Sitting inside the carrier, troopers Wade Blepper and Robert Hadden kept their focus on two computer screens as the buses went through the junction. “The monitor shows us the heat on the wheels. When you see a bus pass through that does not show heat, there is a problem with the brakes,” said Hadden.
The mobile inspection and command center can serve many purposes throughout the state. It contains equipment that scan license places and Department of Transportation numbers for insurance and other checks, scales and other equipment for roadside truck inspections, and communications equipment. The vehicle can be used in disasters and emergencies and can run on fuel for three days.
All of Grundy County’s school buses passed the brake inspection with flying colors. “It is a win-win situation,” said Harmon. “If we find a problem, we can fix it before anyone is harmed. If we don’t find a problem, we know everything is in great shape.”