Keeping school buses running and in top condition is no easy task. On any given day during the school year, thousands of students in Pulaski County ride the school buses to and from school. For school districts maintaining those fleets of buses are a priority.

Each year, the Missouri Highway Patrol conducts an annual inspection of buses in each  school district across the state. The 2018 results were recently released by the highway patrol.

Waynesville School District scored nearly a perfect score The Waynesville R-VI School District scored a 97.1%. There were several small issues that were corrected during the on-site inspections.  

“We take the safety of our students very seriously and these results prove that,” said Karl Wilking, director of transportation. 

Waynesville R-VI Transportation has met the Fleet of Excellence Standard for 18 consecutive years. The district transports approximately 4,000 students annually. To met the requirements, the district has to score a 90 percent or above during the inspections. 

Waynesville had 68 buses inspected with minor problems with 2 buses. 

Dixon also fared well on the inspectors with all 19 buses passing. Crocker had 6 of the 10 buses in their fleet pass with no repairs needed and Richland had 8 of 11 pass without any problems. 

A total of 12,018 school buses across the state of Missouri were inspected by Missouri State Highway Patrol personnel during the 2018 program. Of all buses inspected, 90.6% were approved by inspection personnel with no defective items noted during inspection.

During the annual school bus inspection program, buses found to have no defective items are rated as "approved.” Buses having one or more defective items which do not constitute an immediate danger are rated as "defective.” Buses with a defective item which constitutes an immediate danger are rated as "out-of-service.” 

Buses rated as "defective" may continue to be operated for the purpose of transporting students 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. Buses rated as "out-of-service" must be repaired, re-inspected, and placed back into service by Highway Patrol motor vehicle inspection personnel prior to transporting students. Buses not presented for re-inspection within the required 10-day period are reported to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

A total of 281 Missouri school districts earned the Patrol’s Total Fleet Excellence Award, obtaining an approval rating of 90% or higher with no buses placed out-of-service. During the 2018-2019 school year, 6,532 buses in these award-winning 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.

“The annual school bus inspection program is one way the Missouri State Highway Patrol serves and protects our children. This program is a success because the Highway Patrol, Missouri’s schools, and private pupil transportation companies make transporting students safely a priority,” said Colonel Karsten. “I appreciate the positive and professional working relationship our agency shares with these professionals."

Missouri school bus inspection results are a matter of public record. Individual school district results are available on the Motor Vehicle Inspection Division webpage at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/MVI/index.html.

Statewide 2018 annual school bus inspection results are as follows:

Buses rated as "approved" upon initial inspection ─ 10,888

Buses rated as "defective" upon initial inspection ─ 912

Buses rated as "out-of-service" upon initial inspection ─ 218