School bus

Almost 12,000 school buses across across the state of Missouri were inspected by Missouri State Highway Patrol personnel during the Driver & Vehicle Safety Division’s 2019 annual school bus inspection program.

Of all buses inspected, 89.3% were approved by inspection personnel with no defective items noted.

With all but one of the 35 buses the Warrensburg School District presented to the Missouri State Highway Patrol passing inspection, the local district received a 97.1% approval rating in this year’s annual school bus inspection.

This is an improvement from 2018, when the district presented 39 buses and received 92.3% approval.

The Kingsville School District had a 100% approval rating for the five buses it presented for inspection, a repeat of its 2018 performance.

The Holden School District achieved a 92.3% approval rating. It presented 26 buses, 24 of which were approved. Last year, 25 of 26 buses were approved.

Five of the Leeton School District’s six buses presented received approval, or 83.3%. In 2018, all six buses received approval.

The Chilhowee School District had an approval rating of 66.7%. Two of its three presented buses were approved. The district presented five buses in 2018 and four were approved.

Knob Noster School District saw a drop in its rating. The district presented 20 buses, and 12 vehicles, or 60%, were approved. One vehicle was out of service. Last year, 17 or 19 buses, or 89.5% were approved, and two were out of service.

During the annual inspection, 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 then 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 261 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 2019-2020 school year, 5,540 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 Missouri State Highway Patrol works closely with schools and private pupil transportation companies to ensure our students have safe transportation to and from school-related events. This professional relationship is most evident during the annual school bus inspection and results in a successful program,” Col. Eric T. Olsen, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said. “The annual school bus inspection program is just one way the Missouri State Highway Patrol serves and protects our children and it will remain a priority.”

As Missouri school bus inspection results are a matter of public record. Individual school district results are available on the Driver and Vehicle Safety Division webpage at

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