Back to School

Back 2 School: Here’s how Georgia school buses are checked for your child’s safety

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — It’s time for back to school, which mean school buses are about to be back on the roads. Most students in north Georgia start back next week, but some districts are back in the classroom on Friday.

There are nearly 20,000 school buses in the state of Georgia and Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach got a look at how officials make sure every bus is safe and passes inspection.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Channel 2′s complete guide for back to school in north Georgia]

From the under the hood to under the bus, the inspections look at the brakes, check for any leaks or damage and make sure front equipment like windshield wipers and horns work.

The inspections also look inside at the emergency exits.

“…they should have an audible tone when they open, and they should easily open,” Steven Albrycht said.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s school bus unit is hard at working looking at every bus, in every fleet across Georgia, at least one a year.

Gehlbach watched as they inspected Henry County School District’s nearly 300 school buses.

“Going to have ‘em put it in reverse…check all four of the brake lights, backup lights, the reverse alarm,” Albrycht showed Gehlbach.


The annual inspections in larger districts usually take place over the summer when they’re not running daily routes. But it’s a year-round job.

“There are about 12 of us that do this full time,” Albrycht said.

“The whole state?” Gehlbach asked

“Yes, sir.”

They don’t pass every bus the first time, even the brand new ones.

The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes a buss. Inspections are about road-worthiness as well just visibility to the rest of us.

“That’s why you saw how much reflective sheeting is on that bus, how many lighting arrangements are on that bus. That’s all to to promote that boom, that’s a bus in front of you,” Albrycht said.

You can check on your child’s bus by looking for a decal or sticker about the size of a note card on the driver’s side that tells you if the bus passed and when they did the inspection.

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