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Thousands of school buses in Virginia need safety device

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The Virginia Department of Education says thousands of the state's school buses may need retrofitting to install a safety device that prevents the parking brake from accidentally disengaging. Media outlets report that brake interlocks were mandated in 2011. Education officials announced Monday that up to 4,000 of the roughly 17,000 buses in use at Virginia's public schools are missing the device. The oversight was noticed several weeks ago during routine bus reviews conducted by the department's transportation unit. The burden to provide the device falls on bus manufacturers. The state's leading school bus manufacturers - IC, Thomas and Bluebird -have all agreed to retrofit qualifying buses with the part. The department says it's not aware of any crashes due to the absence of an interlock.

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