The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Wednesday inspected Springfield City Schools’ bus fleet to make sure the vehicles will be safe on the roads this school year.
Springfield is one of the final districts to be inspected by the state highway patrol this summer. There are 39 buses in the fleet, including four new ones. About 50 items outlined in the 2013 Ohio School Bus Inspection Manual need to be checked on a standard bus, including everything from safety lights, emergency exits, fans and wipers to more critical items like steering and brakes, said Trooper William Dendler.
“We inspect every school bus in the state of Ohio. It has to have the patrol’s approval before it can run on the road,” he said.
Dendler starts up each bus, checking the systems inside, brake pedals and steering, while two inspectors work the outside of the vehicle. They use a rolling “shop creeper” to get under the buses, using a flashlight to visually inspect the integrity of the bus. Each bus takes a minimum of 10 minutes to inspect, Dendler said.
Carol White, transportation supervisor, said her team begins work in June doing their own inspections to ensure the buses will pass inspection.
“The mechanic is on-site, and as soon as (inspectors) find something, he takes care of it right then.” White said.
A few minor infractions were found Wednesday, including a burned out light bulb on a running light, an emergency buzzer that didn’t sound and a windshield wiper fluid hose that was clogged. All the items were fixed by the district’s mechanic. No critical violations, which would require the bus to be marked as “out-of-service,” were found, Dendler said.
With about 1,500 students transported daily, White said it’s reassuring to know the Springfield fleet is in good shape for the Aug. 21 start of classes.
“Our state patrol has inspected them from the front to the back, underneath and inside, and they’re ready to go,” she said.
Dendler said he was impressed by the condition of the district’s buses.
“The buses look great. The kids will be safe. Springfield does a really good job of taking care of their fleet,” Dendler said.
This won’t be the only inspection for the district. The highway patrol also completes spot inspections, which happen during the school year and are unannounced.