<p>Out of more than 12,000 school buses inspected by the Missouri State Highway Patrol this year, 10,888 were found to have no defects. File photo by John Horton</p>

Nine out of 10 school buses in Missouri passed with no defects in the state’s 2018 inspection program.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol on Monday announced the results of the latest annual inspections, in which patrol personnel examined a total of 12,018 school buses.

In Missouri’s inspection program, school buses that are found to have no defective items are rated “approved.” Buses with one or more defective items that do not constitute an immediate danger are rated “defective.” Those with a defective item that constitutes an immediate danger are rated “out-of-service.”

Buses rated “defective” may continue to be operated to transport students until the necessary repair is made. School districts are allowed 10 days following initial inspection to repair identified defects before being re-inspected by Highway Patrol personnel.

Buses rated “out-of-service” can’t be used to transport students until they are repaired and the Highway Patrol re-inspects them and places them back into service.

Any school buses that aren’t presented for re-inspection within 10 days are reported to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Here are Missouri’s statewide 2018 school bus inspection results:

• School buses rated “approved” on initial inspection: 10,888 (90.6%).
• School buses rated “defective” on initial inspection: 912 (7.6%).
• School buses rated “out-of-service” on initial inspection: 218 (1.8%).

A total of 281 Missouri school districts earned the Highway Patrol’s Total Fleet Excellence Award by obtaining an approval rating of 90% or higher, with no buses placed out of service. During the 2018-19 school year, 6,532 buses in those fleets are eligible to display the Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger-entry side of the bus.

Col. Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said that the annual school bus inspection program serves and protects children.

“This program is a success because the Highway Patrol, Missouri’s schools, and private pupil transportation companies make transporting students safely a priority,” Karsten said. “I appreciate the positive and professional working relationship our agency shares with these professionals."

School bus inspections results for individual school districts are available on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website here.

Since 2014, the percentage of Missouri school buses passing the initial inspection has steadily increased. Here are the approval rates from the past four years:

2014: 84.7%
2015: 88.3%
2016: 89.9%
2017: 90.2%

About the author
Thomas McMahon

Thomas McMahon

Executive Editor

Thomas had covered the pupil transportation industry with School Bus Fleet since 2002. When he's not writing articles about yellow buses, he enjoys running long distances and making a joyful noise with his guitar.

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