Safety records for parties involved in I-80 school bus crash

Posted: Updated:
PARAMUS -

Investigators are now looking into the possibility that a deadly crash involving a Paramus school bus and a dump truck on Interstate-80 in Mount Olive may have been caused by the bus driver attempting to make an illegal U-turn.

However a review of federal and state records by News 12 New Jersey found that that Paramus has an exemplary record.

RELATED: 1 adult, 1 student killed in school bus crash on I-80

New Jersey has very tough school bus inspections, and the Motor Vehicle Commission maintains a report card of each school bus company. Nearly half of the buses in the state fail their first inspection and have to be taken out of service so they can be fixed and re-inspected. But the out-of-service rate in Paramus is much lower – at less than 10 percent.

News 12 also looked into the safety records of Mendez Trucking, the company that owns the dump truck involved in the crash, and found that the trucking company’s safety record is mixed.

RELATED: Parents rush to Paramus school following word of bus crash

Mendez Trucking had seven accidents in the past two years, according to state records. But the company also travels 2 million miles a year.

According to the federal government, in an urban environment like New Jersey, an acceptable accident rate is 1.7 accidents per million miles. Mendez Trucking’s rate is slightly higher, at 1.8 accidents per million miles.

RELATED: Parents rush to Paramus school following word of bus crash

The company also has a 37 percent inspection failure rate. The statewide average for trucking companies is 20 percent failure.

But Mendez drivers do well on their driving tests. The drivers failed testing less than 1 percent of the time, much better than the national average of 5.5 percent.

The company also had to pay a $22,000 fine in 2016 for three inspection violations. But this was the only time that Mendez faced any sort of disciplinary action in the past six years.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 70th Emmy Awards

    70th Emmy Awards

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:50 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:50:41 GMT

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

  • Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Food Truck Friday: Callahan'sFood Truck Friday: Callahan's

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."