LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—All 112 Lafayette School corporation buses are ready for the start of the school year, but that wasn't the case a few months ago.
At the first annual inspection by Indiana State police, only 54% passed without problems. Forty were ordered to be repaired and four were put out of commission.
The number rejected may be large but the mechanical issues are small. LSC stated a bus marked as needing repairs can still drive for thirty days before being put out of commission.
The Indiana State Bus Inspection states Lafayette School Corporation had 51 buses approved, 40 rejected and 4 out of service. These numbers raised some questions as to what was wrong with them in the beginning?
Most of the issues included oil leaks, torn seats and a few lights out. According to Indiana State Police, all of these buses must be checked and approved before they can hit the road.
Superintendent Les Huddle said the school corporation is working with a number of mechanics they have.
"We also have some limitations on what we can do with our facilities," said Huddle. "We can't put our bus up on a lift simply because we don't have that big of an indoor facility or the equipment to do that."
The low amount of workers doesn't slow down Indiana State Police Trooper Nate King from getting underneath and checking the buses himself.
An annual inspection must be done for every bus and all 112 are up to code.
"The forty that were rejected, which means they were order repaired," said King. "They can still run the bus with children on it, it doesn't mean that it's a safety issue, it just means that there needs to be something fixed and needs to be addressed."
King says having only 4 buses out of service is a good sign as long as they are up to code for the school year, parents should feel safe.
"Everyone makes mistakes, but we work together as the troopers and as the mechanics and the transportation directors and your schools," said King. "We all work together to make sure these buses are safe. Just because we find something and put it out of service doesn't mean they are not doing their job."
King said parents are able to see the descriptions for each bus on the website.