Buses: 90 percent pass inspection

CHARLEVOIX, Mich. - Ninety percent of school buses statewide passed inspection by the Michigan State Policy Traffic and Safety Division in 2007-2008, the Charlevoix Courier reported. The article said that the pass rate was up slightly from the previous year's 89 percent. A total of 17,200 vehicles were inspected in the annual program.

The Courier reported that the 198-point inspection was done on buses owned by public and independent private schools, as well as those used in school districts that contract with a private firm for transportation.

"I would feel bad if I failed - I'd be disappointed," said Joe Howie, the transportation director for both the Boyne City and Boyne Falls public school districts. Both districts had an exceptional five-year record, according to the article.

State police records show that The Public Schools of Petoskey, which has a private contract with Johnson's Buses Inc., also had a perfect record during the last five years, the article said.

Regarding failing vehicles, some are allowed to continue in use while a defect is addressed, and others must be taken off the road until they meet standards, the Courier reported.

The Charlevoix Courier, "Bus safety inspection results are in," Oct. 10, 2008

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Survey 2008: School Service Privatization Grows Again," Sept. 8, 2008