NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- New Hanover County has some of the worst school bus inspection scores in the area. So what are school administrators doing to improve the school bus safety? Right now New Hanover County has two mechanics to repair school buses. This month they plan to hire one more mechanic to help out with repairs and triple-check what the other mechanics have already inspected. Every year the state performs random inspections on ten percent of school buses in each county's fleet. For New Hanover County's latest state inspection nine of the 18 buses checked didn't pass and had to be taken off the roads until fixed. The county's assistant superintendent of operations says there is a reason so many buses needed repairs. Operations Assistant Superintendent Bill Nance said, "If you compare the driving conditions in our area to driving conditions in other counties they are much different. We are more urbanized and we have a lot of congestion and traffic and stop and go with our buses." Some of the problems with the buses were fuel leaks, leaking water pumps and exhaust leaks. "There are some things that need to be fixed, but I would not consider them safety issues unless they go unchecked month by month," Hance said. Hance says there is no reason the problems found at this years inspection by the state would have gone unnoticed month by month, that's because the state requires each county to check every one if its buses every 30 days. "The buses in New Hanover County are safe and the inspections that are done are done on every single bus every single month," Hance said. Even if some of the buses don't pass state officials still say New Hanover County provides a safe way to get children to school. Each month, every school bus in every county is required to go through a 42-point inspection. Columbus County also scored below the region's average on school bus inspections. Pender and Brunswick Counties both scored above average.
- Video Central
- About WWAY