EAST LANSING, Mich. — Nearly nine of 10 school buses passed comprehensive inspections by the Michigan State Police’s Motor Carrier Division during the 2005-06 school year.
Approximately 17,500 buses underwent a 198-point equipment safety inspection, with 88.6 percent passing, up from 85.0 percent the previous year. “With the overwhelming majority of buses passing inspection, school bus transportation managers continue to demonstrate a commitment to school bus safety that translates into a safer pupil transportation environment for Michigan’s schoolchildren,” said Capt. Robert Powers, commander of the Motor Carrier Division.
State inspectors red-tagged 1,556 buses, representing 8.9 percent of the 17,502 school buses in the state. During the 2004-05 school year, 11.0 percent of the buses were red-tagged, meaning they were placed out of service until defects were repaired.
Inspectors also identified 433 buses, representing 2.5 percent of the state fleet, that had less serious defects. These yellow-tagged vehicles can be operated for passenger service, but their defects must be repaired within 60 days.
A total of 310 school districts will receive a certificate of excellence for achieving a 100 percent pass rate on their first inspection, up from 252 districts last year. An additional 70 school districts achieved a 95 to 99 percent pass rate on the first inspection, up from 67 districts in the previous year.
On the other end of the scale, some school districts did not perform well in the inspections. For example, the east terminal of Detroit Public Schools saw 83 of its 186 buses red-tagged. Overall, including eight buses that were yellow-tagged, the terminal had a passing rate of only 51.1 percent. Grand Ledge Public Schools’ fleet had similar problems during the inspections. It had a passing rate of just 52.1 percent. Nineteen of its 48 buses were red-tagged and four were yellow-tagged.
Michigan’s Pupil Transportation Act mandates the state police inspect each school bus annually. There are 13 inspectors statewide. Complete inspection results for Michigan’s 1,083 public and private school fleets can be found at www.michigan.gov/msp.