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Parking brake fix complete for Prince William school buses

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A total of 4,000 public school buses in Virginia, including those in Prince William County, has been upgraded.

The parking brake upgrade for 340 Prince William County school buses was completed on July 26. This new layer of protection adds an interlocking device which prevents the parking brakes from accidentally disengaging.

The Thomas Built Buses were not unsafe without this feature, but now have an extra layer of protection that is required by state law.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) discovered the missing feature this past spring. Immediate action was taken by Sonny Merryman Inc., a bus dealer with its Northern Virginia headquarters in Bristow, to upgrade all affected buses before the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Over the course of 10 weeks, a specialized team of a dozen field technicians traveled throughout 86 school districts, installing the interlocking device on over 2,000 public school buses.

VDOE is continuing to track the installation progress on other affected public school buses.

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