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A bill signed by Gov. Bill Haslam amends current law to allow Type C and Type D school buses to be used in their 18th year of service or beyond, if they meet inspection and mileage requirements. Photo by Wikipedia user Kaldari
Tennessee raises school bus service age limit
May 2, 2014
The bill signed by Gov. Bill Haslam amends current law by allowing Type C and Type D school buses to be used until they reach their 18th year of service, and they can also be used beyond that, but they must have fewer than 200,000 miles of recorded travel, and they must undergo two inspections per year. The bill is now in effect.
Driver, monitor resign after special-needs student left on school bus
May 2, 2014
The preschooler is picked up in the morning and is discovered at the Kentucky district’s bus depot in the afternoon, still seated in the bus. The district has changed its policies to help prevent future instances of children being left on buses by requiring preschool staff to check the buses, in addition to the drivers and monitors.
Motorist charged with DUI after hitting special-needs bus
May 2, 2014
James Joshua Warren rounds a curve in his car and strikes the bus, then keeps driving until he reaches his home, where he parks his car and goes inside his home. He is later arrested and charged with the offense. No students are injured.
School buses are among the eligible vehicles for the 2014 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Photo by Shane Kirley
EPA offers $9 million in clean diesel funding
May 1, 2014
The agency is now soliciting proposals for the 2014 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, which provides grants to retrofit or replace older diesel vehicles — including school buses — to reduce emissions.
Seon announces anti-bullying grant recipients
May 1, 2014
The mobile surveillance supplier selects seven recipients for its anti-bullying grant and The Bully Project Educator’s DVD and Toolkits. Twelve more grant applicants are awarded The Bully Project Educator’s DVD and Toolkits.
Tags: bullying
Texas district holds driver attendance contest
May 1, 2014
The attendance competition among Houston Independent School District's four bus terminals was timed during a week of state testing for students. District officials say that the goals were to make sure students got to school on time and to show drivers "how important their role is in the students’ success."
Tags: Texas
IC Bus offers technician training program
May 1, 2014
Sessions will be held at the IC Bus plant in Tulsa, Okla., on June 23-26; July 7-10; July 21-24 and Aug. 4-7, and the registration fee is $425. The sessions focus on engines, diagnostics, and preventive maintenance and repair procedures.
During a bus crash drill at one of Perth Amboy (N.J.) Public Schools' elementary sites, fire department personnel practiced evacuating students and putting some on stretchers.  Photo courtesy Edmund Treadaway Jr.
New Jersey district boosts training with bus crash drill
May 1, 2014
Perth Amboy Public Schools' transportation department conducts the full-scale drill in partnership with the city's police and fire departments, as well as EMS personnel and students, to better prepare all involved in the event of a real emergency. Transportation Manager Edmund Treadaway discusses the event, which was nine months in the making.
School bus driver charged in fatal Idaho crash
April 30, 2014
Debra Boatwright is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the Kuna, Idaho, crash that killed an 11-year-old school bus passenger in December. The Idaho State Police's investigation found that the bus driver failed to yield the right of way to a dump truck, which struck the rear passenger side of the bus.
Thomas Built Buses honors top dealers
April 30, 2014
Virginia's Sonny Merryman Inc. is named Thomas Built's Dealer of the Year for the fifth time. The school bus OEM also presents its Dealer Trainer of the Year award to Dave Nelson of Nelson’s Bus Service in Wisconsin.
Florida district’s transportation manager resigns
April 30, 2014
John Franklin steps down after seven years as general manager of transportation of Hillsborough County Public Schools. Officials say he led the transportation department through “an eventful time of change and challenges,” and they say that Chief Facilities Officer Chris Farkas will directly oversee the transportation department until Franklin’s replacement is hired.
Tags: Florida
Stop-arm camera program cites nearly 300 in 3 months
April 29, 2014
The enforcement program, which currently has cameras on 25 Montgomery County Public Schools buses, launched in January and is set to expand. Of the 272 citations that were issued to motorists illegally passing school buses during the first three months of operation, 128 have been paid.
NTSB issues preliminary report on motorcoach-FedEx truck crash
April 29, 2014
The FedEx truck, traveling southbound on Interstate 5, drove through the center median and entered the northbound traffic lanes of the interstate, where it collided with a passenger car, which rotated counterclockwise and departed the highway. The FedEx vehicle then hit the motorcoach, both vehicles departed the highway and a post-crash fire ensued.
Indiana school bus drivers award $500 scholarship
April 28, 2014
Corbin Sollman, son of Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association member Nikki Sollman, wins the association's annual scholarship. The high school senior's community service includes assisting with the building of a wheelchair ramp for a disabled person.
Tags: Indiana
Pay raise proposed to help fill school bus driver shortage
April 28, 2014
At Greenville (S.C.) County Schools, starting school bus driver wages would increase 9.6%, from $11.68 to $12.80 per hour, under a budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. The move would be aimed at helping to attract and retain drivers.
New Jersey contracting veteran George Dapper passes
April 28, 2014
Dapper passed away on Friday at the age of 68. He began working full time for his father’s business, George Dapper Inc., in 1969, and under Dapper’s leadership, the company’s fleet grew to 475 school vehicles, including school buses. Eric Raphael of Irvin Raphael Inc. spoke fondly of his colleague, saying, “George was a mentor and role model to me my entire life.”
Man arrested for boarding Missouri school bus
April 28, 2014
The man reportedly approaches two students who are on the bus, but they are able to disembark, and district staff personnel monitor the situation until law enforcement arrives. When asked why he had come to the school, the man says he’d come to take a child.
Ricardo Ramos (center) of Student Transportation of America accepts the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Southern California School Bus Driver of the Year award from CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow (left) and Riverside Unified School District Interim Superintendent Mike Fine.
Bus driver honored for saving 2 kids from floodwaters
April 25, 2014
Ricardo Ramos, a driver and trainer for Student Transportation of America, is named the Southern California School Bus Driver of the Year by the California Highway Patrol for getting the siblings to safety after they were washed away in the storm water last summer. Ramos humbly accepts the award, saying, “I really didn’t expect any of this. I was just in the right place at the right moment.”
Students help younger passengers during bus fire
April 24, 2014
Four students who attend a middle school within Tulsa Public Schools assist younger students by getting them to the rear emergency exit and out of the bus and keeping them safely away from the bus after smoke began billowing from the engine. Monroe Demonstration School Principal Tom Padalino tells a news outlet that the older students created "a teachable moment, and that's what we're here to do."
City approves $2.7M purchase of new school bus fleet
April 24, 2014
The Pittsfield (Mass.) City Council will trade in 52 buses and buy 43 new buses that Pittsfield Public Schools will own and operate. The district has also hired a consultant to do a one-month study of the fleet’s efficiency, which will help the next time it looks into buying a new fleet, and it could help in creating space for students who would pay to ride the buses.

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