JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, recently announced results of the Motor Vehicle Inspection division's 2011 school bus inspection program.
A total of 12,023 buses were inspected by Missouri State Highway Patrol personnel across the state between Feb. 2 and April 30. Missouri's 2011 statewide approval rating was 87.7 percent, up from 84.3 percent in 2010.
The results are as follows:
● 10,543 buses received approval upon initial inspection, which signifies that they were found to be free of defective items.
● 1,246 buses were rejected. Buses with one or more minor defects, yet deemed safe for the transport of students, are identified as defective.
● 234 buses were placed out of service. Buses containing one or more major defects and deemed to be unsafe for the transport of students are identified as out of service by inspection personnel.
Officials said defective buses may continue to be used for pupil transportation until repairs are made. School districts are allowed 10 days following initial inspection in which to repair identified defective items before being reinspected.
Out-of-service buses must be repaired, reinspected by highway patrol motor vehicle inspection personnel and placed back into service prior to being used for the transportation of students.
"We appreciate the good working relationship between the patrol and Missouri's school bus companies and school districts," Replogle said. "The patrol is pleased to report an 87.7 percent approval rating statewide in 2011. Our children deserve safe transportation to and from school every day. Our inspection program helps ensure Missouri has the safest school buses in the nation."
A total of 268 Missouri school districts were awarded the distinction of Total Fleet Excellence for approval ratings of 90 percent or higher with no buses placed out of service.
During the 2011-12 school year, each bus within an award-winning fleet may display the Missouri State Highway Patrol Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the right side of the bus. In addition, each district earning the designation will be presented with an award from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, officials said.