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Articles/News - School Bus Safety

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School bus kidnapper could be released in May
March 8, 2012
California's First District Court of Appeal finds that Richard Schoenfeld has completed his sentence for the crime of kidnapping 26 Chowchilla schoolchildren and their school bus driver in 1976. The decision becomes final at the end of April unless the state Board of Parole Hearings files an appeal.
Bus driver tests positive for cocaine after crash
March 8, 2012
Catherine Daffin is charged with child endangerment and could face more charges for an incident last month in which she lost control of her bus and hit two mailboxes, drove over a median and crashed into a tree. Daffin claimed that the brakes had failed, but an investigation found that mechanical errors did not contribute to the accident.
Md. districts aim to capture stop-arm violations
March 8, 2012
Several counties in the state are turning to camera systems to combat the persistent problem of illegal school bus passing. Directors of transportation discuss their efforts with SBF.
Agency seeks comments on proposed bus standard
March 7, 2012
A draft of the D250-12 standard has been posted for public review by the Canadian Standards Association. The Ontario School Bus Association says that the most significant changes to the current standard are the requirement for side mirrors to have remote control adjustment, and there are accessibility requirements for buses that are designed to be wheelchair accessible.
Poll probes transportation workers' sleep issues
March 5, 2012
About one-fourth of train operators and pilots admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman says that the new poll, which includes bus drivers, "should serve as a literal 'wake-up call.'"
VIDEO: School bus torched by flare
March 5, 2012
Maryland State Police have in custody the student who they believe lit the flare on the bus. Twenty-eight students were on board at the time of the incident.
NTSB releases agenda for attentive driving forum
March 5, 2012
During the agency’s free one-day event, four panels of experts from federal and state governments, vehicle manufacturers, safety advocacy groups, law enforcement and the research community will discuss countermeasures to distracted driving. Officials say the panels will also consider recent research on driver distraction that could contribute to reducing such accidents.
Driver fired for falling asleep, crashing bus
March 1, 2012
Investigators determine that Bev Turner fell asleep at the wheel of her bus before it went off the road and down a ditch, eventually striking a concrete structure. Eight students suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Camera system captures stop-arm violations
February 29, 2012
The camera system from Redflex Traffic Systems’ Student Guardian solution is installed on the front and rear driver's side of a school bus. It monitors traffic while the bus' stop arm is displayed, and data supporting possible violations, including video and images of license plates and drivers, is submitted to local law enforcement.
Bus in fatal N.J. crash ‘inched past’ stop sign, NTSB says
February 28, 2012
The agency’s ongoing investigation into the Feb. 16 accident involving a school bus and a dump truck reveals that the bus reportedly went past the stop sign because of bad sight lines. Investigators have found that at some locations at the intersection where the crash occurred, the line of sight was obstructed due to “environmental features,” and NTSB’s chief investigator says that possible improvements are being studied.
REI, Velvac offer integrated surveillance system
February 24, 2012
The solution combines REI’s BUS-WATCH mobile video surveillance system and Velvac’s camera-based Vision systems. Officials say it is designed to improve driver and passenger safety by enabling users to record more viewing angles around a vehicle.
Bus strikes 3 teens in crosswalk
February 23, 2012
The driver is placed on paid leave after his bus hits the middle school students just after classes let out on Tuesday. Police say he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Keeping eyes on safety
February 23, 2012

How can an ad, which is designed to catch people’s attention, not distract from the safety equipment on a school bus?

Forum to focus on attentive driving
February 21, 2012
The National Transportation Safety Board’s one-day event will "identify how distractions affect behavior behind the wheel and focus on measures that promote attentive driving," Chairman Deborah Hersman says.
1 dead, 17 injured in N.J. school bus crash
February 17, 2012
Authorities are investigating Thursday’s accident, wherein a dump truck struck the driver’s side rear of the bus at an intersection, and the impact of the crash caused the bus to strike a pole. In addition to the fatality, two of the injured children are in critical condition.
TBI information to be added to Pa. bus driver’s manual
February 16, 2012
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is in the process of including language in the agency’s school bus driver’s manual on the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and concussions, and the procedures drivers should follow if a student sustains such an injury. Jan McKnight of PennDOT discusses with SBF what led to this change in the manual and when the new version is expected to be available.
Okla. district to celebrate Love the Bus with hockey
February 14, 2012
Christy Clemons, assistant director of transportation for Norman Public Schools, partners with the Oklahoma City Barons hockey team and the Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation to put on "Love the Bus Hockey Night" to honor bus drivers and monitors. Clemons tells SBF she hopes the event will inspire other districts in the state to celebrate Love the Bus month.
Collins makes XChange seats standard
February 6, 2012
SafeGuard’s XChange seating products, which can be switched from standard to lap-shoulder belts or integrated child seats, will soon be standard on all Collins, Mid Bus and Corbeil buses.
NTSB issues report on fatal Mo. bus crash
February 3, 2012
The agency finds problems with the brakes of the school buses involved in the accident. Among its recommendations to the state of Missouri is to require that students traveling to an activity or field trip in a school or school-chartered bus be instructed in safe riding practices. NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart also addresses the agency’s call for a nationwide ban on driver use of electronics following the accident, saying it “may be scoped too narrowly.”
Motorist in fatal bus-passing incident sentenced to 15 years
February 2, 2012
Aaron Gunderson pleads guilty to vehicular homicide by reckless driving in the death of 7-year-old Kadyn Halverson. Halverson was killed last year when Gunderson failed to stop for a school bus that had engaged its flashing lights and stop sign.

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