DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Almost 100 Iowa school buses have been repeatedly labeled unsafe to transport children in the past five years. The Des Moines Register reports that gaps in the bus inspection system make it possible for busses to return to service without being fixed. Iowa rules don’t require re-inspections of buses that have been deemed unsafe, so it’s up to school districts to make sure repairs are done.
The state inspectors also don’t keep detailed records about what repairs are needed after the inspections of more than 7,500 school vehicles are done. And, there are no penalties for districts with repeat safety problems. Among the 67 districts that had at least one bus cited with the same serious category of mechanical or safety deficiencies in multiple, consecutive inspections during the past five-years, according to a Register review of records, is…Audubon, AHST, Carroll, Corning, Creston, Fremont-Mills, Guthrie Center, Lenox, Lewis Central, Logan-Magnolia, Panorama, West Central Valley, and Woodbine.
Iowa Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, says the Register’s findings suggest that state bus inspection rules may need to be reviewed.