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Articles/News - School Bus Safety

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Don’t fall out of your seat
February 25, 2013

Do some school bus drivers need their passengers (or someone else) to remind them to buckle up? Recent incidents of un-belted drivers falling out of their seat show the need for managers to regularly monitor their drivers’ seat belt use — and to enforce penalties for not complying.

Mayor resigns as bus driver after missing sleeping boy
February 21, 2013
John Tompkins worked as a school bus driver to supplement his income as mayor of small town McKee, Ky. He tells a local newspaper that on Tuesday, he may have been preoccupied with his mayoral duties when he accidentally left a 5-year-old on his bus.
New Jersey association responds to case involving girl’s fall from bus
February 19, 2013
In January, Onyx Williams fell or jumped from the back of her school bus, and an investigation found that her route had only one aide on the bus instead of two, as agreed in the contract between the school district and its former contractor. Now, the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association reports that the company is continuing to bid on routes, which the association says calls for “stricter measures and a renewed effort to make sure we are keeping our children safe.”
Roundabout planned for intersection in fatal New Jersey bus crash
February 19, 2013
Burlington County officials say the roundabout, which has been in the works since 2004, is devised to improve traffic flow, and it is not a direct response to last year’s crash in Chesterfield involving a school bus and a dump truck. That accident resulted in the death of one student and injuries to 17 others. A county spokeswoman tells The Times of Trenton that the county implemented several safety measures at the intersection on its own volition following the crash.
Mom ordered to serve jail time for assaulting bus driver
February 19, 2013
A judge sentences Bethany Rudd to 10 days in jail for the December incident in which she boarded her son’s school bus and allegedly hit driver Helen Gibson in the face. However, the judge allows Rudd to file for an appeal, enabling her to avoid jail time for now, and she is due back in court in April for the assault and battery charge against her.
Child-check devices: a vital reminder
February 19, 2013

To protect kids from being left stranded, drivers have to carefully check their bus. Electronic systems can help keep that duty from being neglected.


Rhode Island city official offers help for stranded bus
February 14, 2013
Twelve buses used to transport students for Providence Public Schools were delayed on Wednesday due to snowy and icy conditions, and a district spokeswoman tells ABC 6 that the district’s bus company did a “phenomenal job” in addressing the situation. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras also offered his services when he noticed a bus that was stuck.
Mom’s sign tells drivers to stop for school bus
February 14, 2013
In Lee County, Fla., Ann Tomlinson saw how many motorists were illegally passing her daughter’s school bus, and she decided to do something about it. Holding a “STOP FOR BUS” sign and wearing a safety vest, she stands at the bus stop — morning and afternoon — to spread the safety message.
LaHood celebrates ‘Love the Bus’ in Virginia
February 13, 2013
Outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visits Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington on Tuesday, where students sing and rap for him. LaHood tells the children, “I want you kids to thank your drivers when you go home today. They care a lot about getting you to and from school safely.”
Driver credited with saving boy from illegal bus passer
February 12, 2013
Michigan school bus driver Jayce Dempsey spots an SUV approaching his bus on the right as 9-year-old Casey is preparing to disembark, so he grabs him and pulls him up the stairs as the motorist passes the bus. Casey’s mom, Robin Dunn, tells news outlet mlive.com, “I just want as many people as possible to know this man saved my son’s life.”
More details on Alabama bus driver’s heroic response
February 12, 2013
The confrontation between an armed intruder and school bus driver Charles Poland lasted more than four minutes, with Poland standing in the aisle to block the gunman from his students and refusing to move, according to a report from CNN. Meanwhile, students in the back of the bus opened the rear emergency exit so they could escape.
UPDATE: Boy held in bunker rescued, abductor dead
February 4, 2013
Ending a nearly weeklong standoff with a man accused of killing a school bus driver and abducting a 5-year-old passenger in Alabama, FBI agents enter the man's bunker and rescue the boy. Suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, is killed during the operation.
Blue Bird, Redflex partner to curb stop-arm running
January 31, 2013
Under the agreement, officials say the Redflex Student Guardian stop-arm camera system is available from all Blue Bird dealers throughout North America. The Student Guardian system monitors and automatically detects drivers who illegally pass school buses while students are loading and unloading.
Ga. bus driver honored for actions during accident
January 30, 2013
Officials say that Hall County Schools bus driver Bertha Hutson followed all safety procedures and kept her passengers under control despite sustaining a shoulder injury after her bus was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in early January.
School bus driver killed, student taken hostage
January 30, 2013
An Alabama man identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly boarded a school bus on Tuesday and demanded two children. When school bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. refused, he was fatally shot. The suspect then took a 5-year-old kindergartner and retreated to a bunker on his property, where they remained as of Thursday.
NAPT News & Views — When NTSB talks, we listen!
January 29, 2013

Over the years, the National Transportation Safety Board has become the gold standard for safety recommendations that should be taken to heart, and the agency’s vice chairman, Christopher Hart, is among its best keepers of the flame. There was much to be learned from his excellent presentation at the NAPT Summit in Memphis, Tenn., in October.

School bus driver stops gunman from boarding
January 24, 2013
Police in Kansas City, Mo., say that the person tried to board the school bus, but the driver denied him a ride because she didn't recognize him. As the bus drove off, the person, who witnesses say appeared to be of high school age, reportedly fired several shots at the bus but didn't hit it.
Toddler struck, killed by school bus in Texas
January 23, 2013
The 15-month-old girl gets out of the front yard of her home and runs in front of the bus. The driver reportedly does not see the girl, and the bus knocks her down — then she is run over by the back wheels of the bus.
Full danger zone report now available
January 23, 2013
As previously reported, the Kansas State Department of Education's latest national survey found that nine children were killed in school bus loading and unloading accidents in the U.S. in the 2011-12 school year. A PDF of the full report can now be downloaded from the department’s website.
Bus crashes into motel swimming pool
January 22, 2013
Officials for a Texas school district say that the bus was on its way to a school when it swerved off an access road, hit a utility pole and landed on top of one end of the pool. No children were on the bus, and the driver only sustained cuts and bruises.

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