Some Wake Co. school buses fail inspection, pulled off the road - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Some Wake Co. school buses fail inspection, pulled off the road

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Wake County's school buses scored slightly better than the district average in the most recent annual inspection. Wake County's school buses scored slightly better than the district average in the most recent annual inspection.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

An annual inspection of Wake County's school bus fleet shows the district is making improvements in bus safety, but some problems remain.

Each year, every county in the state has 10 percent of its public school bus fleet inspected for cosmetic and mechanical problems by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 

Inspectors completed Wake County's report in November. That report showed 17 of the 93 buses inspected had to be pulled out of service due to safety concerns.

Some problems were minor, like a door that would not lock correctly.

Other problems were more serious. Multiple buses had suspension bolts that were either loose or missing, while other buses had problems with the brakes.

Inspectors also found a broken speedometer, a broken side mirror and problems with one bus' fire extinguisher.

Just 10 percent of buses are inspected. The report concludes that as many as 166 buses could have significant issues.

"The whole reason we do this is to give that school system some feedback," said Derek Graham, transportation services section chief with DPI.

Graham said that while inspectors did find some problems, overall, Wake County's scores have improved in recent years.

At a score of 37, Wake County scored just below the district average of about 40. Higher scores mean more problems.

"We were pleased that Wake County held steady this year," Graham said. "That improvement over the last couple of years had continued and so it was something that we were glad to see."

A Wake County Schools spokesperson responded to this year's results in a written statement saying: "The safety of our students is of paramount importance.

"We want to improve our inspections reports even further. The DPI chart shows that we've lowered our score by nearly 30 points in the last few years, and we want to move that number lower."

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