Bus inspections are first stop in tough safety process

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Every school bus has to be inspected in Ohio before it can pick up a single child, and it is up to the Ohio State Highway Patrol to inspect them.

The Commercial division of the patrol is charged with going over every school bus, every year. In the Warren District, which covers seven counties, there are 2,600 buses which in turn means 2,600 engines, 10,000 tires 170,000 lights, and 60,000 seats.

“We look at the brakes. We’ll look at the frame, the tires, everything underneath the bus, the cross members. We check all the lights on the bus,” said Sgt. Barry Thompson. “We have to make sure the children get to and from school safely, so this is very important to us.”

Youngstown City Schools are having their busses inspected on the same day that over 400 drivers were converging on East High School for the bus driver in-service training for all of Northeast Ohio.

“We want to ensure that our buses are safe for our children. So, it is important that every bus is inspected from bumper to bumper,” said Colleen Murphy-Penk, with the Youngstown City School District.

Inspectors find things wrong from time to time. Some problems are minor, but others like a broken light or bad brakes can sideline a bus.

“Every documented infraction is addressed immediately. We send it out to repair shops or we repair it here inside of our garage,” Thompson said.

Inspectors follow up and make sure repairs are made. Once everything is checked, the bus gets a state seal of approval and is ready to roll.