PIERRE, S.D. — A bill is moving through the state Legislature that would allow the South Dakota Highway Patrol to approve other people to perform school bus inspections.
Under current law, members of the state’s highway patrol conduct the inspections. John Broers, a captain for the patrol’s motor carrier division, told Aberdeen News that the inspections take place in June and July — approximately 1,700 buses are reviewed in a three-week period.
With a motorcycle rally and races that take place in early August, there is not much time to perform re-inspections before the school year begins, according to the newspaper.
Broers said that transportation officials at school districts, bus companies, maintenance garages and other organizations are “more than qualified” to perform the inspections.
“We’re not getting out of the business,” he told the newspaper. “We’re allowing more people in.”
Senate Bill 41 would amend the current law to state that each school bus used for the transportation of schoolchildren must be inspected before the beginning of each school year “by an inspector approved by the Division of Highway Patrol.”
By extension, the owner of a bus certified by a dealer must have the bus inspected by an approved inspector before the beginning of the next school year.
The law would also be amended to specify that the state’s highway patrol may establish certain standards and requirements for the approval of school bus inspectors. Any person who performs a school bus inspection without first being approved by the highway patrol would be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Aberdeen News reports that the highway patrol would provide training and its manuals to school bus inspectors.
The bill passed the Senate on Monday.
To read the full story from Aberdeen News, click here.