With Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses provided by Hall County Schools and Appling County Schools, drivers navigated numerous obstacle courses and steered their way through a competition filled with driving challenges, student safety challenges and a written examination.
Competing with 63 other Georgia drivers, Sherry Harris of Fayette County took first place, with Michael Graham of Cobb County coming in a close second place. The first and second place drivers will advance and represent the state of Georgia in the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition in Tulsa, Okla., in July.
“The Georgia Pupil Transportation Safety Competition is held each year to provide champion Georgia school bus drivers an opportunity to display and further refine their skills,” said Wiley Crews, president of the Georgia Pupil Transportation Safety Competition Foundation and transportation director for Brantley County Schools. Drivers take this competition very seriously, and the intense competition is palpable. For school bus drivers, student safety is the No. 1 priority, and these dedicated drivers reaffirm this commitment throughout the competition.”
“Each day, school bus drivers across Georgia transport thousands of schoolchildren with one common objective: safety,” added Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “School bus drivers are the first school official a child sees each morning and the last person at the end of the school day. Blue Bird recognizes the valuable role that school bus drivers perform and thanks them for their hard work and dedication. The Georgia Pupil Transportation Safety Competition is an effective tool in further supporting safe driving practices and student safety skills with school bus drivers. Blue Bird and our Georgia dealer, Yancey Bus Sales, are proud to be supporters of this annual competition.”
Officials said that two Georgia school districts currently operate Blue Bird school buses powered by propane autogas, with more Georgia districts placing orders in the coming months.
Blue Bird’s Propane-Powered Vision school bus is manufactured in Fort Valley, Ga. Utilizing a domestically produced fuel with virtually zero emissions and providing annual fuel savings of approximately $3,000 to $3,500 per bus, propane-powered school buses are rapidly growing in popularity in Georgia and throughout North America, according to Blue Bird.
Below are the top 10 drivers from the competition:
• 1st Place: Sherry Harris, Fayette County
• 2nd Place: Michael Graham, Cobb County
• 3rd Place: Larry Richardson, Colquitt County
• 4th Place: Connie Beatenbough, Floyd County
• 5th Place: Jennifer Wortham, Screven County
• 6th Place: Bob Montgomery, Cobb County
• 7th Place: Melanie Paulin, Bartow County
• 8th Place: Neil McBrayer, Forsyth County
• 9th Place: Tommy Sams, Bibb County
• 10th Place: Mike Dixon, Fayette County