Return to Headlines

SSD Earns 10th Consecutive State Transportation Award

 SSD maintenance department stands in front of school busses.

June 15, 2023 - For the 10th year running, SSD’s Transportation Department passed the 2023 Driver and Vehicle Safety Division’s annual school bus inspection program with flying colors. The District received an overall score of 97.9%, which is just over 10% higher than the national average of 87.2%. 

“Our team believes we should all take pride in providing safe buses to transport our students back and forth every day,” said Kenny Mulder, director of transportation.

“I want to say thank you to our drivers and monitors for continuing to do their daily pre- and post-trip inspections, and to our technicians for their dedication and thorough preventative maintenance to ensure our students get to and from school safely every day.”

Twice a year in late winter and spring, the Missouri State Highway Patrol examines over 11,000 school buses across the state for motor vehicle safety inspections. This includes the nearly 300 SSD-operated school buses, the largest fleet of any school district in Missouri. Despite the large numbers, the Transportation department stays prepared.

“The maintenance department’s effective maintenance program has resulted in the District receiving 100% on multiple unannounced spot state inspections,” said Mulder. “The department continues to be commended on the great maintenance of our buses, our teamwork, and our organizational skills. We appreciate what the Missouri Highway Patrol does for the school transportation industry in auditing our work to make sure we are continuing to provide the safest mode of transportation for our students.”

Over 24 different systems of a school bus are inspected including brake performance, seat belts, heating and defrosting, horn, tires, mirrors, and windshield wipers. Out of the 292 buses stationed at SSD’s Central, North, and South garages, four failed, but all passed by the end of the inspection day. The North Garage received a score of 97.8%, Central Garage passed with 98.8%, and South Garage had a 100% pass rate with no failures. In total, 2.1% of SSD buses were classified as defective and 0% were put into the out-of-service category. Due to the high passing rate, the District earned the patrol’s 2023 Total Fleet Excellence Award. As a result, SSD buses are eligible to display the Patrol’s Total Feet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger side of the bus.