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Articles/News - School Bus Safety

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85K stop-arm violations in national count
August 13, 2013
This year’s survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services finds 85,279 violations in a single day, which is down from last year’s count of 88,025. More than half (57.5%) of the vehicles passed the buses from the front, while 42.5% of those counted passed the buses from the rear.
Arkansas launches school bus safety campaign
August 12, 2013
The three-week effort led by the state Department of Education will be used as an opportunity to remind motorists to obey all traffic laws whenever they are near a school bus. The effort will also seek to remind drivers that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing and students are loading or unloading.
Flag system shows that bus has been checked
August 12, 2013
The new Double Check Child/Safety System, conceived by a South Carolina school transportation director, is a reflective flag that can be secured at the back of the bus. At the end of a run, the driver walks to the back, checking for children, and then releases the flag so it hangs in the window — allowing supervisors to see that the bus has been inspected.
There are safer ways to back up a bus
August 8, 2013
Backing up school buses can be risky and dangerous, and drivers are often instructed not to reverse unless it's absolutely necessary. Backup camera systems can aid drivers in this task while also increasing safety by helping to prevent accidents.
Georgia district cracks down on stop-arm running
August 7, 2013
Marietta City Schools has partnered with American Traffic Solutions to outfit 10 more of its buses with the CrossingGuard school bus arm safety solution, bringing the total number of buses to 12. When the bus’ stop arm is deployed, the system’s 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.
The right way to make a left
August 7, 2013

There’s no good way around it: We have to turn left sometimes, often without the “protection” of a solid green arrow. For school bus drivers, training to “perfect the art” of knowing the bus and how to steer it will allow them to focus on watching out for objects in the intersection.

State directors: NTSB findings will be 'roadmap' for enhancing safety
August 5, 2013
NASDPTS says that the federal agency's investigation of the Chesterfield, N.J., school bus crash pointed out a number of student transportation concerns, including driver fatigue and medications. Also, NASDPTS says that the findings reinforce the association's support of lap-shoulder belts for school buses, as long as funding is made available for them.
Mom accused of punching child’s friend on bus
August 1, 2013
Jessica A. Brown is arrested and arraigned, and faces charges of simple assault against a child, unauthorized school bus entry, disorderly conduct and harassment. Documents state that the boy told police that Brown, who is the mother of one of his friends, punched him in his right eye.
Georgia district partners with Redflex, Blue Bird to curb stop-arm running
July 31, 2013
Gwinnett County Public Schools plans to install the Redflex Student Guardian camera system, which is available from Blue Bird dealers like Blue Bird Parts and Service, on 100 school buses by Labor Day and then more later in the school year. The system monitors traffic in both directions, and evidence of potential violations, including video and photos, is submitted to local law enforcement to determine whether a citation is warranted.
Florida court: ‘Stand your ground’ applies to bus fights
July 30, 2013
A panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the law would allow a boy who got into a fight with a girl on a school bus to claim self-defense. The panel reversed a ruling by a Broward County circuit court judge who found the boy guilty of battery, saying the judge’s conclusion that the statute applied only to the use of deadly force in the protection of one’s home or vehicle was incorrect.
South Carolina stop-arm campaign gains momentum
July 29, 2013
During last week’s South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation annual conference and trade show, attendees hear from Sen. Thomas Alexander, who urges them to contact local legislators in support of a bill that would increase the penalties for stop-arm violators. Anderson School District Five's David Poag also reveals that he is incorporating the Steffi Crossing Enhancer as part of the educational component of his S.A.V.E. (Stop-Arm Violation Education campaign).
Seon Design unveils student ridership tracking
July 25, 2013
vMax Trac uses RFID technology to identify vehicle occupants. As students and drivers enter and exit the school bus, card ID numbers are processed, sent to a central server over a secure cellular connection, and stored in the vMax Compass central student database.
Carrollton bus crash survivor points to the positives
July 25, 2013

It has been 25 years since the fiery Kentucky bus crash that killed 27 people. Jason Booher, now a high school administrator and coach, recounts his narrow escape from the burning bus and discusses the safety improvements that stemmed from the tragedy.

NTSB: Proper lap belt use could have lessened injuries in bus crash
July 23, 2013
In its investigation of last year's fatal Chesterfield, N.J., school bus crash, the National Transportation Safety Board finds that some students wore their lap belts improperly and some didn't wear them at all. The agency says it believes that lap belts can provide a benefit to most school bus passengers who wear them properly, although the addition of shoulder belts would reduce flailing injuries and provide greater protection.
Blue Bird to unveil 2015 model year bus improvements
July 23, 2013
Officials say the enhancements to the Vision are an optional 98-gallon propane autogas fuel tank, new headlights with integrated turn signals that feature clear-lens technology and a new bracket for the cross-view mirror. On the Vision and on the All American are upgraded clearance lights and an improved driver’s seat belt system.
Tips and tools to select safe stops
July 23, 2013

Pupil transporters recommend considering everything from whether to use mid-block stops or corner stops to avoiding situations where students must cross a busy street to ensuring that the bus has enough room to maneuver in the area. Staff input and routing software can assist in this task.

NTSB to meet on 2 fatal school bus crashes
July 18, 2013
In a meeting next week, National Transportation Safety Board members will address last year's Chesterfield, N.J, and Port St. Lucie, Fla., school bus crashes. The board will also consider possible recommendations on school bus safety.
REI unveils 2 new mobile surveillance DVRs
July 18, 2013
The HD420 records up to four channels of audio and video at 120 frames per second, and the DR40 records up to four channels of audio and video at 60 frames per second. Each DVR is coupled with REI’s A.R.M.O.R. viewing software as well as an extruded aluminum chassis, fanless design and wireless capability.
Mom allegedly boards bus, slaps student
July 17, 2013
Rebecca Sardoni is arrested and faces charges in the incident, which she says was prompted by her daughter being the victim of bullying. Toms River (N.J.) Police Chief Michael Mastronardy says that not only did Sardoni hit a child, she struck a child who was not involved in the bullying.
NAPT: ‘Walking bus’ shouldn’t sideline the yellow bus
July 17, 2013
While walking school buses may make sense in some cases, parents should be informed that the traditional yellow school bus remains the safest way for children to get to school, NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin says. The walking bus concept has made headlines recently with a high-profile nod from first lady Michelle Obama.

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