Local News

Wake School Buses Fare Better in 2nd State Inspection

Posted May 30, 2007

— A safety re-inspection of the Wake County school system's buses shows some improvement since the fleet landed one of the worst scores in the state.

State inspectors recently spot-checked about 21 buses over the course of three days and gave them a score of 73.10, compared with a 94.02 score in November, a showing that landed the school system far below its previous showings.

In the state Department of Public Instruction rating system, points are assigned for problems. A perfect score would be zero.

"We’ve shifted staff to make inspections a priority,” said Don Haydon, chief for facilities and operations for the school system. “This score reflects significant improvement and has us headed in the right direction."

Inspectors found several problems during the May 23 inspection. They ranged from low tire tread to inoperative warning lights and damage to the padding of a seat belt.

Wake County had been a leader in bus safety, but this year fared worse than Durham, Orange, Chatham, Johnston and Franklin counties. The explanation officials gave is familiar to those concerned with the schools: growth.

Last year, officials said, 7,000 new students put a strain on the bus fleet.

The school system operates nearly 840 buses that travel more than 14 million miles a year, transporting more than 65,000 students to and from school.


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  • djofraleigh Jun 1, 2007

    Does seem that the WCPSS bus department has fallen from grace.
    Does make wonder if the busses have really gone bad so fast.
    Does make one wonder if all systems are being judged the same.
    I wish Steve Crisp could run the system, but first the grading.
    Wake County houses the legislature, and who has faith in them?
    Wake County government may be lacking in other ways we don't know?

  • lollly52 May 31, 2007

    @Steve Crisp - you have my vote.

  • Steve Crisp May 31, 2007

    I would love to take over the bus maintenance program in Wake County for seven months starting June 1st. I would guarantee that their inspection number would be ten or less by September 1st and I would charge them thirty percent of what I saved them in overhead and payroll after the initial cost to fix everything to begin with. I won't even charge them a penny in salary.

    Of course, I would demand complete control over hiring, firing, procurement and workflow; the WCPSS leaders would have none of that, though, because they like to act as ignorant micro-managers -- even though they have failed in that task abysmally far too many times in the past. I mean, they can't even put in simple accounting controls to avoid criminal fraud.

  • Nothing New May 30, 2007

    How ironic this is, when the taxpayer where being riped with fraud in the schools transportation department, Wake had great scores. Now that they have cleaned house and stopped the fraud, Wake is getting very poor scores and WCPSS is asking for more money. Seems the fraud never ends, just a different spin on it. Just as in school assignments and YR.

  • anonemoose May 30, 2007

    So that's why they have all those big nice wreckers that can pick a loaded tractor trailer straight up.....

  • Not_So_Dumb May 30, 2007

    From the previous report - "Perfect would be a zero, and it goes up to 100. On that scale, a report that came out Monday gave Wake a 94.

    For comparison, that's 40 points worse than average in eastern North Carolina." So 54 is average. With a couple of months to prepare, public scrutiny and "shifted staff to make inspections a priority", they still can't even reach average?