One-Third Of Canal Winchester School Buses Fail State Inspection

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Canal Winchester Local Schools will have to borrow buses from another district after nearly a third of its fleet failed state inspections. 

The first day of school in Canal Winchester is Monday but 15 buses are not deemed safe for the road by state inspection standards.

Every year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol inspects school buses to make sure they are safe to transport children. 

After going through Canal Winchester's buses on Thursday, an inspection team determined 15 of the 48 buses should be kept out of service. 

"Unlike our cars, where we may drive them for a little while with something wrong, by law, a bus is not allowed to be on the roadway unless every single mechanical facet of the bus is working properly,” said Lt. Douglas DeBord, Ohio Highway Patrol's Office of Field Operations, Licensing and Commercial Standards.

DeBord says for some of the district's buses this was a second inspection, or re-inspect. He says the various issues include broken lights and rust on the undercarriage.

"There were a couple of break lines where there were leaks in the air hoses, and again, that happens - but one of them was a re-inspect and we also found that problem again,” said DeBord.

DeBord says the 15 buses must remain out of service until the issues are corrected and inspectors clear them to get out on the road.

Late Friday afternoon a Canal Winchester Local School district spokesperson issued the following statement: 

“Student safety is a top priority in the Canal Winchester School District. For the beginning the 2014-15 school year we will temporarily borrow 15 buses from local central Ohio school districts to account for Canal Winchester buses currently out of service. This is a courtesy often extended between school districts when situations like these arise. Over the past two years our bus fleet has attained a 100% passing rate for all annual and spot inspections. The repairs being made to our buses will meet the higher standards being requested by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Inspection Staff. There will be NO disruption in transportation services to our students.  All of our buses will continue to be operated by Canal Winchester School bus drivers. Drivers will wear their district ID badge. Each borrowed bus will have a CW Schools sign in the window as well as the bus number originally assigned to each student rider.”