School buses pass annual inspection

Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Chilton County School’s Transportation Department received high remarks for its school buses during its annual Alabama State Department of Education (SDE) inspection, which was performed in February.

The state department inspected each bus in the fleet, and two out of the 104 buses were found to have two major deficiencies.

“One was a wheel seal leak,” said Joe Dennis, transportation supervisor. “Last year, we didn’t have any problems – zero percent. We inspect the buses every 20 days as required by the state, but this was in between that time.”

Obie Fuller, a state school bus inspector with SDE Pupil Transportation Section, conducted the inspection.

The annual inspection included checking the bus braking, exhaust steering, signaling systems, tires and other safety items, as well as a review of shop personnel positions and maintenance records. The exit report included a summary section, which documented the inspector’s findings of major deficiencies in the school bus fleet.

Also included was an inspection record review section, which identified areas of noncompliance with regard to monthly inspections, certified mechanic positions and shop record.

“We are still one of the top five in the state out of approximately 130 systems,” Dennis said.

The state average for major deficiencies for the last inspection year (2010) was 4 percent. Additionally, 109 systems earned deficiencies percentages of less than 10 percent for the same year.

“Our transportation department is very important,” said Superintendent Dave Hayden. “They get our children to and from school safely, and I think they do a very good job.”