Dora School earns first ever perfect bus inspection, three others also get 100 percent

Photo by Shana Hambelton Dora bus mechanic Matt Baldridge stands in front of a Dora School bus recently. Dora, Bakersfield, Gainesville and Thornfield all received a 100 percent rating during recent Missouri State Highway Patrol bus inspections.

Four Ozark County schools received perfect scores on school bus inspections recently.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol performs school bus inspections to ensure buses are safe and mechanically sound.

Ozark County schools in Dora, Bakersfield, Gainesville and Thornfield all received a 100 percent score. For Dora, it was the first time they had received the perfect rating.

“I’m really happy it turned out with a 100 percent rating,” said Dora bus mechanic Matt Baldridge, who said he had a lot of help from the school’s maintenance employee Donnie Berry.

“We’ve been working hard on making sure the buses are kept in the best shape possible,” Baldridge said.

Baldridge said the MSHP inspections cover everything from mechanics to things like lighting and safety devices.

Bakersfield Superintendent Amy Britt said she is also very pleased with her school’s 100 percent rating, especially considering the average age of buses in their fleet is 15 years old. 

“I am so proud of this,” Britt said. “It is reflective of the hard work of our bus maintenance contractor, Kevin Wray, and our drivers. Having a safe fleet takes continual time and attention, but it is the most important thing we can do to ensure the safe transport of our kids,” she said.

For Gainesville, the perfect score is the second year in a row.

Each year the MSHP is tasked with inspecting every school bus in the state. The official report from the agency will be released at a later date.

The buses are placed into three categories: approved, defective and out-of-service. A bus that is “approved” is one that passes with no issues. MSHP said that a bus that falls into the defective category means there’s an issue, but it doesn’t pose an immediate danger. Students can still ride on that bus as long as the issue is fixed within 10 days of inspection. The bus must be re-inspected once the defect is fixed.

According to the MSHP, a bus is taken out of service when there’s an issue that constitutes an “immediate danger.” The bus cannot be returned to service until the problem is fixed and re-inspected by the MSHP.

In the 2021 MSHP bus inspection report, Gainesville scored a perfect 100 percent, Bakersfield scored 72.7 percent, Dora scored 50 percent, Lutie scored 60 percent and Thornfield scored 75 percent.

Lutie received a 100 percent rating in 2020, according to the MSHP report.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423