Differences Between School Bus Regulations and Church Buses

Differences Between School Bus Regulations and Church Buses

A fatal church bus accident brings up questions about church bus regulations and how they differ from school bus regulations.
Several of those involved in last night's fatal bus accident are back in Brazil, IN this evening.

The accident, involving a church bus of the Berea Christian Church in Brazil, happened Thursday evening in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The bus hit two cars and killed a Knoxville woman.

The vehicle was driven by the church's associate minister.

He told police brake failure may have caused the accident.

Unlike school buses, church buses are not required for inspection by the Indiana State Police.

Instead, church buses receive an inspection from a qualified inspector once a year.

They do not constantly provide police with paperwork.

Police only see a church bus's records when it's involved in an accident.

"They are required by the federal regulations to do certain things," Sgt. Chuck Tharp of the Indiana State Police explained. "And many of the buses, whether it's for hire or church bus, are required to do that. And they have less record keeping requirements for the most part."

Eighteen people were on the bus at the time of the accident.

Several students on the bus were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.   

Members of the church were in Tennessee on a church-sponsored trip.


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