"These are protecting our most valuable assets of the state," said Washington State Patrol Spokesperson Garland Sponburgh.
"It's the number one priority always," said Naches School District Transportation Director Ladonna Berkey. "Above everything else."
It's a priority to make sure schoolbuses are working properly. During the summer, every schoolbus in the state gets inspected by WSP. In winter, only 25% of the fleet in each school district gets checked.
"We have very high thresholds to ensure the safety of our children," said Garland.
Last summer, more than 500 schoolbuses were inspected in the Yakima area. Two dozen had problems that kept them out of service. Things like defective brakes. Officers said that's a low rate and only slightly above the state average.
"Buses are mechanical," said Ladonna. "They break down. They have issues and that's where we catch things."
Troopers said there has never been a deadly school bus accident in the state caused by defective equipment.
"We want to make sure that they get to school and get home to their parents every single day," said Garland.
The winter inspections will finish the end of February.