School buses getting ready for students

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Monday, July 28, 2014

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW) -- In exactly 2 weeks, thousands of Richmond County students will be on big yellow school buses for their first day of school.

Before your child hops on board, the county is making sure every bus meets safety standards. A recent inspection found nearly 3 dozen had what they call ''serious defects.''

On Monday, Kim Brown and her son were walking their dog, but come August 11 they'll be walking to the bus stop.

"I know the mechanics go there to do a job and they know there's people's safety behind it so I'm sure the mechanics are doing everything they can," said Kim Brown.

Last week, Richmond County buses had their yearly inspection. Of the 197 buses, 31 had serious defects, which range from brake wear and tear, oil leaks, and worn tire treads. Others more minor issues needing attention are new foam seating pads or shorted brake lights.

One of the violations on this bus is when you open this emergency latch, or this window there's supposed to be a beep, but that's something you're clearly not hearing. Buses can be pulled off their routes for any defect that could be a safety hazard, no matter how minor.

"A bus' main mission in life is to stop and go which is hard on anything and you're going to have problems but the big thing is that you find the problems and fix them immediately," said fleet supervisor Marion Myers.

Richmond County says they have 35 to 45 spare buses that will cover any route bus that can't hit the pavement to make sure your child won't be late.

While all 241 Columbia County school buses passed inspection, they say they're ready with back up buses if any problems arise. As for brown and her son, they hope the schools get any last minute kinks worked out so there are no bumps in the first day ride.

"Anything they do to increase the safety level for your children is a good thing," Brown said.

Along with those yearly inspections, the county does monthly ones as well to take care of any issues that come up during the year. Richmond County still has a few buses that need to be fixed, but they say every single one will be ready to roll come August 11.

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