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[image: thumbnail]KATHLEEN, GA. (June 7, 2013) – While students are on summer break, school bus drivers across Georgia were busy preparing for the state’s upcoming school bus safety road-eo! Georgia’s Pupil Transportation Safety Competition Foundation (PTSCF) was proud to host the nation’s first school bus driver safety competition, featuring Blue Bird school buses powered solely by propane autogas. With Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses provided by Hall County Schools and Appling County Schools, champion district drivers from across Georgia 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 in this intense and fun-filled competition, 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 National Transportation Safety Competition held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in July.

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, Georgia. Utilizing a domestically produced fuel with virtually zero-emissions and providing annual fuel savings of approximately $3,000 to $3,500 per bus, propane autogas-powered school buses are rapidly growing in popularity in Georgia and throughout North America.

"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. Drivers take this competition very seriously and the intense competition is palpable," said Wiley Crews, president of the Pupil Transportation Safety Competition and transportation director for Brantley County Schools. “For school bus drivers, student safety is the number one priority, and these dedicated drivers reaffirm this commitment throughout the competition."

"Each day, school bus drivers across Georgia transport thousands of school children with one common objective, safety. School bus drivers are the first school official a child sees each morning and the last person at the end of the school day", said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Blue Bird recognizes the valuable role that school bus drivers perform and thank 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."

Below are the top ten drivers from the competition:

First Place: Sherry Harris, Fayette County

Second Place: Michael Graham, Cobb County

Third Place: Larry Richardson, Colquitt County

Fourth Place: Connie Beatenbough, Floyd County

Fifth Place: Jennifer Wortham, Screven County

Sixth Place: Bob Montgomery, Cobb County

Seventh Place: Melanie Paulin, Bartow County

Eighth Place: Neil McBrayer, Forsyth County

Ninth Place: Tommy Sams, Bibb County

Tenth Place: Mike Dixon, Fayette County

About The Pupil Transportation Safety Competition (PTSC):

Providing four clear objectives to benefit Georgia school bus drivers, PTSC strives to:

1. Motivate learning and implementation of good practices involved in superior job performance as a school bus driver.

2. Recognize excellence and provide for demonstration of the skills and responsible performance of the demanding job of the school bus driver.

3. Develop public awareness of the skills and responsibilities involved in the job of a school bus driver.

4. Encourage communication between drivers to share awareness and experiences. These objectives are reinforced throughout the year and culminate with a school bus driver skills competition implemented annually.

Posted on 2013-06-07

As a Blue Bird customer for over 25 years, our district has a solid Blue Bird fleet of the Vision, All American and Micro Bird buses. We choose to standardize our fleet to solely Blue Bird because of the quality of the buses. Our Blue Bird school buses are dependable, our drivers love driving the buses and we receive excellent parts and service support from Blue Bird and our local dealer, New York Bus Sales.
Fred Paye
Director of Transportation
Hilton Central School District
Hilton, NY

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