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Teen drives school bus after fight, causing crash
October 4, 2013
While a bus driver and an aide were breaking up a fight between two special-needs students and checking on one of the students, the other student involved in the fight ran to the front of the bus and began driving it. Another bus driver noticed and drove in front of the bus to cut it off, causing both vehicles to collide.
Driver, attendant comfort students when babysitter is hurt
October 4, 2013
When Mary Bennett, a bus driver for Volusia County Schools, and her attendant, Jackie Murphy, stop to pick up two special-needs students on their route, Bennett hears the students’ babysitter in their home calling for help and sees her on the floor. After Murphy calls 911, she and Bennett help the students onto the bus, and Murphy keeps them calm until emergency response arrives.
Prince William County Public Schools began buying buses with disc brakes, which Director of Transportation Services Ed Bishop says improved braking and saved money on maintenance.Photo courtesy Thomas Built Buses.
District cuts vehicle breakdowns by 50%, crashes by 35%
October 3, 2013
These improvements at Virginia's Prince William County Public Schools started by investing more time in maintenance and money in better equipment for its school buses, which also led to an overall reduction in costs.
Districts, bus companies among Sustainability All-Star Award recipients
October 2, 2013
Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools, All-Star Transportation, Student Transportation of America, Blue Bird Corp., Brighton (Colo.) School District 27J and ROUSH CleanTech are among the 40 winners of the award, which recognizes propane autogas fleets for their leadership in running vehicles on the fuel. The winners are recognized during the Green Fleet Conference & Expo in Phoenix.
Seon to donate proceeds to anti-bullying efforts
October 2, 2013
A portion of the proceeds of every bus camera system the supplier sells between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 will go to anti-bullying education and awareness campaigns such as “The Bully Project.” The total donation is expected to amount to upward of $25,000.
Trans Tech Bus hires Mike Hall as vice president
October 2, 2013
Hall comes to the Type A school bus manufacturer with more than 19 years of production and manufacturing experience in the military equipment industry. He will be responsible for all operations of Trans Tech Bus.
Driver keeps students safe during bus breakdown
October 2, 2013
Robin Smith, a bus driver for Florida’s Volusia County Schools, safely evacuates the students from her bus and keeps them calm after she notices smoke coming from the rear of the vehicle. A parent who was at the scene praises Smith for her actions.
Tags: Florida
Panic button alerts students to passing cars
October 1, 2013
With a new feature from Transportation Safety Products, the school bus driver can push a button if vehicles pass beyond a certain point while the bus is stopped to load or unload students. The button activates an audible warning and emergency strobe lights to alert children of the danger.
Students Breck Bryan (left), John Watson and Samantha Mazzara nominated winning school bus driver Leslie Andrews in the Children's Choice contest.
Kids pick Leslie Andrews as school bus driver of the year
October 1, 2013
Four students nominated Andrews, a driver for Pender County (N.C.) Schools, in the annual Children's Choice contest. Two of those students tie for first place for their essays about Andrews, who one says "loves helping people of all ages and wouldn’t hurt a fly."
Casey Middleton of Oklahoma placed first in the school bus inspector category.
America's Best winners hail from Oklahoma, Colorado
October 1, 2013
Casey Middleton of Tulsa (Okla.) Public Schools places first in the school bus inspector category, while Patrick Maloney of Douglas County (Colo.) School District takes the top spot in the technician category. Read more about the event and check out our photo gallery.
REI updates stop-arm camera to capture four lanes
October 1, 2013
The company’s A.R.M.O.R.-StopArm solution can now capture stop-arm violators in four lanes of traffic. The multiple cameras with different focal length lenses deliver clear video, and officials say the front and back license plates are recorded from both directions.
A Korean War veteran, bus driver John Stickels has worked for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District, first as a middle school history teacher, since 1958, and he continues to drive on a regular basis.
Bus driver still at the wheel, serving community at 83
October 1, 2013
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District bus driver John Stickels has served his community for the past 55 years as a school bus driver, coach and Boy Scouts of America troop leader, and he has been named Pecos Educator of the Year twice by the city of Pecos, Texas. He retired from teaching in 1998 and tells SBF this may be the year he retires from driving.
Tags: history, Texas
“Unauthorized Rider” demonstrates the need to plan ahead when confronted with an attempt by an unauthorized person to board the school bus.
DVD trains on school bus trespassing response
October 1, 2013
“Unauthorized Rider,” produced by the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) and the Annandale Police Department, demonstrates the need to plan ahead when confronted with an attempt by an unauthorized person to board the school bus, and what to do if these situations arise. MSBOA Executive Administrator Shelly Jonas tells SBF how production of the video came about.
STI uses EarthLink cloud workspace, hosting
September 30, 2013
The school bus contractor will use these virtual services for its IT infrastructure, which will help in controlling numerous applications, extend secure access to employees on any device at any location, rapidly fold in new customers and acquisitions, and satisfy its audit requirements, officials say.
Georgia’s Paulding County Schools combats illegal bus passing
September 30, 2013
The school district partners with American Traffic Solutions to equip its buses with the company’s CrossingGuard system, which mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate.
Sleep apnea bill passes House, NASDPTS adds support
September 27, 2013
The House unanimously passes the bipartisan bill that aims to prevent the FMCSA from issuing guidance on sleep apnea testing for commercial drivers without a formal rulemaking. The state directors association joins NSTA and other groups in advocating for the legislation, which the Senate will now consider.
NAPT and NASDPTS will hold their annual gatherings in Grand Rapids, Mich. Photo by Rachel Kramer
Grand Rapids conferences to cover crash results, security, KPIs
September 26, 2013
Christopher Hart, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, will address NAPT and NASDPTS members in a joint session. He is expected to discuss recent crash investigation results and recommendations. Also during the joint session, attendees will watch the film “Impact: After the Crash,” which reenacts the catastrophic 1988 bus crash in Carrollton, Ky., and shares inspirational stories of survivors.
Fire suppression system receives UL certification
September 26, 2013
FMNA — formerly Fogmaker North America — receives the Underwriters Laboratories certification for its water mist Automatic Fire Suppression System. The certification, which included both system and component-level testing, focused on life cycle operation, environmental tests, product performance and overall durability.
Tags: bus fires
Free webinar to target total cost of ownership
September 26, 2013
Officials from Thomas Built Buses will explain what total cost of ownership (TCO) is, identify the three pillars of TCO, and discuss other aspects of the topic. The web seminar will take place on Oct. 15.
Pennsylvania bill would allow for stop-arm cameras on buses
September 26, 2013
School districts and bus companies would be permitted to equip their buses with the technology to capture illegal bus passers under House Bill 1580. Rep. Seth Grove, who introduced the legislation, says utilizing the cameras “can provide increased accountability of drivers and remove the burden from school bus drivers to bear witness to all facets of the violations when their primary goal is to ensure the safe transportation of the children in their charge.”

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