State inspection reveals problems with Lee County buses

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

The state recently inspected 120 buses and found multiple problems, from broken seatbelts to pinched wires. Seven of those buses had issues, and one page of the audit detailed their problems.

WINK News reporter Breana Ross reached out to several mechanics and had them look at the audit. According to them, some of these issues are pretty serious.

But, the School District of Lee County says you no longer have to worry about your child riding on a bus with problems.

When your kids go to the bus stop, we expect that they will get to school safely. And the transportation director for Lee County schools says there shouldn’t be any worries.

“Yes, they are safe,” said Lee County Schools transportation director Roger Lloyd when asked if the buses were safe.

Lloyds said that with confidence. In January, the Florida Department of Education graded the district’s bus safety and inspection process. Seven out of 120 of those buses failed the inspection.


“It gives us an opportunity to improve, to change things, to tweak things, to put the best practices approach to what was going on,” Lloyd said.

Mechanics said the most significant issues were all on one bus. There were 28 broken seatbelts, a worn drag link, and a pinched wire. The drag link is critical to steering the bus and maintaining control. The pinched wire is a fire hazard.

Lloyd told WINK News that that bus is now out of service. As for the other buses, the state report card noted more minor issues. “Those issues have all been corrected,” said Lloyd.

He also says his team is working to correct its inspection process. The state requires every school district to inspect every bus every 30 school days. But, this report alleges that that didn’t happen.

Lloyd says no safety issue is acceptable. “They should be caught. They have a checklist. They actually have a checklist that they go through,” Lloyd said. “It is a good way that we can go ahead and make sure we are doing what we were asked to do to be safe and make sure these kids are on safe buses.”

Lloyd says that since the audit occurred, he has retrained his team and is working to finalize an automated process to keep track of the maintenance schedule. This audit is part of a routine process every three years by the state.

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