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Unannounced Bus Inspection Held At Joshua Tree National Park

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avatar Unannounced Bus Inspection Held At Joshua Tree National Park
September 24, 2014 12:56PM
Joshua Tree National Park, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), held an unannounced inspection of all commercial for-hire multiple passenger tour buses on Friday, September 19th.

The purpose of this unannounced inspection was to ensure visitor safety through safe operation of tour buses. The goal is to reduce chances of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving tour buses bringing passengers into the park.

Roadside inspections adhere to the guidelines of the North American Standard for bus safety. There are five levels of inspections, including a vehicle component, a driver component, or a combination of both. Inspections are designed to determine if buses are in compliance with federal motor carrier safety regulations. Violations may result in fines or taking a bus out of service immediately.

Joshua Tree receives approximately 1.4 million visitors per year, with approximately 20,000 of these people arriving on tour buses. It is a primary concern of the NPS that these visitors are safe during their travels in the park. Joshua Tree National Park and the CHP strive to ensure visitor safety and appreciate the mutual support of the other agencies involved in these surprise bus inspections.

CHP only conducts these inspections at locations where passengers have access to shelter, food, and water. Since Joshua Tree does not have such infrastructure inside the park, the inspections occurred just outside the park boundary in the village of Joshua Tree, which is adjacent to the park’s Joshua Tree Visitor Center.

On the day of inspection, rangers and CHP officers examined three commercial buses. All were found to be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and were released without citation. One park commercial use licensee (non-tour bus) was given a verbal warning by a ranger for violation of their permit. This was the second unannounced inspection this year.
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