Parents want their kids to have a safe ride on the school bus.  In order to keep passengers safe, school buses must receive a detailed inspection by a professional who can identify hazardous mechanical issues.  Officers with the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) have specialized training to detect these mechanical issues.  This allows MCCD officers to complete efficient school bus inspections in order to prevent crashes due to mechanical defects. The School Bus Safety Unit (SBSU) consists of ten certified officers who are responsible for conducting safety inspections on approximately 20,359 public school buses in Georgia.  The unit also conducts inspections on over 600 Head Start buses annually.  On April 18, 2019, Vanishree Rao, MCCD Captain Durrence, and MCCD Lieutenant Hatcher presented sbs.gamccd.net to the Georgia Association of Pupil Transportation (GAPT), an organization responsible for school bus safety in the state.  This website was pioneered by Captain Durrence to make the process of completing bus inspections safer and more effective for Georgia’s school systems.

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Traditionally, school bus inspections were documented with physical forms.  Captain Durrence, Lieutenant Hatcher, and IT members with the Georgia Department of Public Safety worked hard to convert physical school bus inspections documents to digital forms.  During this process, Vanishree of DPS developed sbs.gamccd.net to document bus inspections and keep school districts informed about the mechanical details of each school bus that receives an inspection by SBSU.  For example, if a school bus does not pass inspection, the user can see what defect the MCCD officer identified during the inspection.  Each inspection requires an MCCD officer to observe every detail of a school bus including brakes, exhaust systems, and hoses, etc.  A school bus is placed out of service when a defect is found and cannot operate until the bus has received proper maintenance.

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During the presentation, Captain Durrence discussed how the website keeps an account for each school bus inspected by SBSU.  This means a user can find information on their buses past inspections, out of service criteria, and mechanical history.  Wilkinson County was of the first counties to utilize sbs.gamccd.net as a trial to test the website. This allowed Vanishree to successfully correct all issues affecting the website’s capability.  Over 25 counties and 2,000 inspections have been added to the website’s database and will continue to expand across the state.  The presentation of sbs.gamccd.net was well received by the GAPT based on the website’s ability to simplify bus inspections, provide inspection details and prevent school buses with defects from being operated by drivers.  This website will allow school districts to prevent crashes and keep kids safe.

 

This blog was written by Nicholas Butler, MCCD Media Relations Specialist.