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Articles/News - School Bus Regulations

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NAPT News & Views — Court: School bus fees unconstitutional
August 15, 2014

After voters declined referendums to raise property taxes to increase revenues for schools, Franklin Township in Indianapolis tried discontinuing their school bus service and contracting with a private firm to transport students, charging parents a fee for the service. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the township violated the state constitution.

Louisiana districts get more time for bus route changes
August 7, 2014
An opinion from the state attorney general determines that districts should begin the process of complying with Act 654, which prohibits school bus drivers from picking up or dropping off students in locations where they would have to cross traffic lanes, but that the act gives no specified completion date, letting districts take their time to implement changes.
Iowa updates school bus spec rules
July 16, 2014
Among changes to the state's school transportation equipment specs are requirements for remote-controlled mirrors, fluorescent seat belts for drivers, and fire block upholstery in all seating positions. Lap belts are no longer allowed on new school buses in Iowa, except for use with child seats.
Louisiana state law may put more miles on school buses
July 8, 2014
The law, which was intended to address safety problems in metropolitan areas, prohibits school bus drivers from loading or unloading students at school or near their homes in a way that would cause them to have to cross traffic lanes. School districts statewide are concerned that the law will cause them to double their travel times, increase their budgets and inconvenience parents.
Indiana court rules school bus fees unconstitutional
June 12, 2014
The Indiana Court of Appeals decides that transportation is part of the public education system and that Franklin Township Community School Corp. violated the state constitution when it ended bus service and arranged for an outside company to transport students for a fee. The court points to a state mandate for schools to bus homeless, foster-care, special-needs and some private-school students.
South Carolina stop-arm camera bill signed
June 11, 2014
Gov. Nikki Haley approves legislation that allows South Carolina school buses to be equipped with digital video recording devices to document vehicles passing illegally. Stop-arm safety advocate David Poag says that "the use of video surveillance in enforcement efforts will ultimately make motorists think twice before passing a stopped school bus."
Bill would require lap-shoulder belts on school buses
June 4, 2014
Ohio Reps. Tom Letson (D-Warren) and Roland Winburn (D-Dayton) introduced H.B. No. 578 following news that students were injured in a school bus crash last week in Montgomery County. The bill would require all school buses built or refurbished after Jan. 1, 2016, to be fitted with seat belts and for school districts to adopt a policy that addresses the failure of a student to wear one.
Bill would allow cameras for stop-arm enforcement
May 29, 2014
Under the South Carolina legislation, video recorders could be equipped on school buses to document vehicles passing illegally. The bill, which has now passed the state Senate, would also allow footage from the stop-arm cameras to be used as evidence in citing offenders.
Congressman pushes school bus safety 'overhaul' bill
May 14, 2014
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduces legislation in the House of Representatives that would set minimum penalties nationwide for stop-arm running. The bill would also mandate that all states require background checks for school bus drivers, and it would create a school bus seat belt demonstration program, among other measures.
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.
Illinois bill would increase walking distance to 2 miles
April 16, 2014
School boards would be required to provide free transportation for students who live 2 miles or more from their assigned school, up from one and a half miles, under House Bill 5967. In a letter to a local newspaper, Illinois School Transportation Association President Patrick Johnson writes that the legislation would put “thousands of school children at risk, increase traffic congestion and harm the environment.”
New Idaho law protects bus drivers who come to aid of students
April 8, 2014
Gov. Butch Otter approves Senate Bill 1232, which amends current law to provide that school bus drivers, while they are acting within the scope of their duties, will not be civilly or criminally liable for reasonably acting to assist a bus passenger whom the driver believes to be in imminent danger of harm or injury. The law will take effect on July 1.
Bill to increase bus-passing penalties approved by New York Senate
April 3, 2014
Senate Bill S.1878 would amend current law by adding a 60-day driver’s license suspension when an individual is convicted two or more times of passing a stopped school bus within a period of 10 years. In late March, the bill was sent to the New York State Assembly’s transportation committee for consideration.
Update: Indiana gov. signs bill on bus funding losses
March 31, 2014
The bill, signed into law last week, is designed to give flexibility to school districts facing transportation budget reductions. The legislation allows districts that have lost at least 10% of their transportation fund levies due to property tax caps to use money from other funds to pay for transportation through 2016.
Bill would allow stop-arm cameras on Alabama buses
March 24, 2014
Under the legislation, local school boards would be permitted to authorize the use of the technology to capture motorists who illegally pass buses. The fine for a stop-arm violation under the legislation would be a maximum of $300 for the first offense, $750 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense in a five-year period.
Update: Wyoming gov. signs bill to require stop-arm cameras
March 13, 2014
Under the new law, as of the 2016-17 school year, all school buses in the state will have to be equipped with external cameras to capture evidence of illegal passing. Up to $5 million will be appropriated to reimburse school districts for 100% of the costs of the video surveillance systems.
Bill would require bus drivers to perform child checks
March 7, 2014
The Minnesota legislation would also establish reporting requirements: failure to perform a post-trip child check would need to be reported to the director of pupil transportation within 72 hours, and if a bus driver is convicted of not performing the required child-check procedure, the school bus driver endorsement on the person’s license would be canceled for one year. Shelly Jonas of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association weighs in on the effectiveness of the proposed changes.
Bill would exempt school bus drivers from paying tolls
March 6, 2014
Under House Bill 1331 in the Florida Legislature, a person driving a public school bus or another district-owned vehicle on official school district business could pass free through all tollgates and over all toll bridges and ferries in the state. The bill’s sponsor reportedly looked into the issue after a middle school student called her office to ask about tolls paid by school bus drivers.
Indiana stop-arm camera bill dies in Senate
March 6, 2014
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Michael Crider, didn't offer the bill for a second reading on Monday, so it couldn’t receive a final vote in the Senate by the Tuesday deadline. Some senators had concerns with how contracts between school corporations and camera enforcement companies would be arranged, which was one reason why Crider didn’t make it available for another reading.
Bill aims to help deal with school bus funding losses
March 4, 2014
The Indiana legislation would allow school corporations that have lost at least 10% of their transportation fund levies due to circuit breaker credits (property tax caps) to use money from other funds to pay for transportation through 2016. The bill unanimously passes the state Senate.
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