The approval rating for Missouri’s school buses during the statewide annual bus inspection program was 88.3% this year.
That rating is the same as last year, as SBF previously reported.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Motor Vehicle Inspection Division inspected a total of 11,890 school buses between Feb. 4 and April 30. Upon the initial inspection, 10,493 buses received approval — meaning they were found to be free of defective items.
Additionally, 1,153 buses were deemed defective during the initial inspection (meaning they had one or more minor defects, but were still safe for transporting students). The number of out-of-service buses after the inspection was 244. Those buses were deemed unsafe for transporting students.
Buses rated as defective 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 re-inspected by Highway Patrol Motor Vehicle Inspection personnel.
"I appreciate the positive relationship between the employees of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Division and Missouri's school districts and contracting companies," said Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "The patrol is pleased with the results of the 2013 annual school bus inspection program. 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 top priority. The annual school bus inspection program continues to ensure that Missouri's school buses are among the safest in the nation."
A total of 292 Missouri school districts earned the distinction of Total Fleet Excellence for approval ratings of 90% or higher with no buses placed out of service.
During the 2013-14 school year, districts with award-winning fleets may display the Missouri State Highway Patrol Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger-entry side of the bus. In addition, each district earning Total Fleet Excellence designation will receive a certificate from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.