JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Highway Patrol inspectors scrutinized nearly 12,000 school buses in the state during the agency's 2014 school bus inspection program.
In the annual inspection program, school 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 transportation of students, are rated as "rejected.” Buses found to have one or more defective items that may compromise the safe transportation of students are rated as "out-of-service.”
Here are the results of this year's inspections, which covered a total of 11,997 school buses:
• 10,161 school buses (84.7%) were approved upon initial inspection.
• 1,431 (11.9%) were rejected upon initial inspection.
• 405 buses (3.4%) were placed out-of-service upon initial inspection.
School buses rated as "rejected" may continue to be operated for pupil transportation until they are repaired. The repairs have to be made within 10 days of the initial inspection, and then those buses have to be re-inspected by Missouri State Highway Patrol personnel.
School buses placed out-of-service can't be used for pupil transportation until they are repaired and then re-inspected and placed back into service by the state patrol.
"I understand the many challenges faced by the school districts and contracting agencies tasked with transporting Missouri's students," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "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. The annual school bus inspection program ensures that Missouri school buses are among the safest in the nation."
A total of 258 Missouri school districts (with a combined 5,286 school buses) earned the distinction of "Total Fleet Excellence" for approval ratings of 90% or higher, with no buses placed out-of-service. Those operations receive a certificate and get to display "Total Fleet Excellence" stickers on their buses during the 2014-15 school year.
See this story for the results of last year's Missouri school bus inspections: