Patrol announces results of 2014 school bus inspections program

Local school districts have received the results of their recent bus inspections conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The bus fleets in the four public school districts in Lincoln County generally received high marks.

Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, announced the results of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Division’s 2014 annual school bus inspection program. A total of 11,997 school buses were inspected between the dates of February 3 and May 20, 2014 with 84.7 percent of all buses inspected approved upon initial inspection.

In the Elsberry R-II District, all 16 buses received 100 percent. “This is our third straight year where our buses received 100 percent,” said Dr. Tim Reller, superintendent.

In the Winfield R-IV District, no buses were taken out of service with only four minor infractions noted. Twenty-six buses were inspected. In the Lincoln County R-III School District, they had 87 buses inspected. They had 82 buses pass, four minor infractions and one bus put out of service until repairs were made. Their overall approval was 94.3 percent. At Silex R-I, eight buses were approved with one minor infraction.

“We were disappointed that our string of 10 consecutive years above 96 percent ended but we were still 10 percent better than the state average,” said Mike Francisco, R-III transportation director.

During the annual school bus inspection program, buses found to have no defective items are rated as “approved.” Buses having one or more defective items, but deemed to be safe for the transport of students, are rated as “rejected.” Buses found to have one or more defective items, which may compromise the safe transportation of students, are rated as “out-of-service.”

Buses rated as “rejected” may continue to be operated for the purpose of pupil transportation until repair is made. School districts are allowed 10 days following initial inspection to repair identified defects before being reinspected by the Patrol’s motor vehicle inspection personnel. Buses placed out-of-service by inspectors must be repaired, reinspected, and placed back into service by the Patrol’s motor vehicle inspection personnel prior to being used for the purpose of pupil transportation.

Statewide results of the 2014 annual school bus inspection program are as follows:

• 10,161 buses received approval upon initial inspection.

• 1,431 buses were rejected upon initial inspection.

• 405 buses were placed out-of-service upon initial inspection.

“I understand the many challenges faced by the school districts and contracting agencies tasked with transporting Missouri’s students. I appreciate the positive working relationship that exists among motor vehicle inspection personnel, Missouri’s school districts, and contracting agencies,” said Col. Replogle. “Missouri’s schoolchildren deserve the safest transportation possible when traveling to and from school each day, and Missouri’s pupil transportation professionals continue to make student safety a high priority despite higher operating costs and continued funding shortages.”

A total of 258 Missouri school districts earned the distinction of Total Fleet Excellence for approval ratings of 90 percent or higher with no buses placed out-of-service. During the 2014-2015 school year, 5,286 buses in award-winning fleets may display the Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger-entry side of the bus.

Posted on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 9:24 am