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September 01, 2006  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Decade by Decade: 50 Years of Pupil Transportation History

Countless occurrences have shaped the school bus industry over the past half-century, from safety innovations to key legislation to tragic accidents. Here’s an overview of noteworthy news that SCHOOL BUS FLEET has covered throughout its own history.

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FHWA gives bus drivers ‘F’
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) releases the Assessing the Adequacy of Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Training: Final Report document, which finds that 66.7 percent of all bus drivers fail to meet adequate driver training requirements.



Protecting preschoolers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) creates new regulations for transporting toddlers and pre-k children.

New roadeo debuts
The first National Special-Needs Team Safety Roadeo is held in Orlando, Fla.



Tennga tragedy
Three children are killed and four are severely injured in a train-school bus collision in Tennga, Ga. The National Transportation Safety Board investigates and finds that the bus driver failed to follow procedures by not stopping prior to crossing the tracks and having the bus radio on and the door closed.

NCST refines title
At the 2000 National Conference on School Transportation, delegates decide on a new title for the conference’s resultant document: National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures. Previous incarnations had been called National Standards for School Transportation. The change is made to more precisely describe the contents and intended use of the document.



Responding to terror
Anti-terrorism legislation signed by President George W. Bush following 9/11 includes school buses and school bus drivers in its “mass transportation systems” definition. Previously, they had been excluded.

Nebraska crash claims four
Three students and one adult are killed and more than two dozen are wounded in Omaha, Neb., when their school bus swerves to avoid an oncoming motorcoach, crashes though a guardrail and drops about 50 feet into a creek.



Compartmentalization corroborated
NHTSA issues a report to Congress on occupant protection in school buses. The report is not definitive in its recommendation, but it does validate the effectiveness of compartmentalization and warn against the use of lap belts on large buses.



Roof weld defects found
The School Bus Information Council issues a warning to school bus operators to examine and possibly pull from service buses in their fleets manufactured by Carpenter and built at the company’s Mitchell, Ind., plant between 1986 and 1995. A school bus rollover accident in Florida, in which the roof of a 1991 Carpenter collapsed to the seat line, shed light on dangerous roof weld defects that were also found in Carpenter buses in use elsewhere in the country.



Driver fatally shot by student
School bus driver Joyce Gregory of Stewart County (Tenn.) Schools is fatally shot by one of her passengers, 14-year-old Jason Clinard. The teen was allegedly upset over Gregory reporting to school officials his use of smokeless tobacco.

Buses to the rescue
Hundreds of school buses from across the country are deployed to help in emergency evacuations and in delivering supplies after Hurricane Katrina strikes. The storm devastates much of New Orleans and adjacent shore boards.

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