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February 28, 2011  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

State directors to tally bus passing

NASDPTS is conducting a nationwide survey to determine how many motorists illegally pass stopped school buses.

NASDPTS is conducting a nationwide survey to determine how many motorists illegally pass stopped school buses.

State pupil transportation directors are conducting a nationwide survey to determine how many motorists illegally pass stopped school buses — an ongoing problem that results in multiple student fatalities each year.

At its conference in Portland, Ore., last fall, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) had a panel discussion on the contributing causes of loading zone incidents and potential areas for improvement.

Agreeing on the need for reliable national data on illegal bus passing, members passed a resolution to coordinate a national survey.

The resolution notes that “several states have conducted counts of stop arm violations and the results have proved useful in showing the magnitude of the problem to law enforcement, state and federal agencies and the general public.”

Earlier this month, NASDPTS informed state directors of the plans for the survey and solicited every state’s participation. Each state was asked to choose a single target day on which to have school bus operators (public and contracted) observe and report whether motorists illegally pass their school buses.

States were asked to conduct the survey on a state-designated, representative school day sometime during the window of March 1 to May 15.

States will be asking each driver to complete the uniform survey form that NASDPTS provided, even if they have no observed incidents, to ensure reliable data on the rate of illegal passing incidents. Drivers who actually observe illegal passes will additionally report the time of day, how many motorists passed, from what direction and on which side of the bus.

“The form is concise and easy to complete so drivers can attend to their primary task of ensuring student safety while driving, especially during the critical loading and unloading sequence,” the association said in announcing the project.

States will collect the data and report them to NASDPTS in a web-based survey that has already been developed. Later this year, the association will share the national findings with the entire student transportation community.

Those with questions about their state’s survey date or other plans should contact their state pupil transportation director, whose contact information can be found here.

More information on the project can be found here or by contacting NASDPTS members Derek Graham or Charlie Hood.

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Read more about: danger zone, NASDPTS, stop arm running/illegal passing

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I am a school bus driver in Massachusetts. Do you know of any law state or federal that gives a number to maximum amount of pupils per bus. for elementary middle and high school

Paul McKenna    |    May 17, 2011 02:15 PM

Why don't we put video cameras on the buses to catch these illegal passers (wouldn't it make the drivers job easier and our kids safer)? It is absolutely dispicable that anyone would pass a school bus when the stop lights are on or the stop arm is out. How anyone could live with themselves if they hit a child is beyond me.

John H.    |    Mar 03, 2011 09:05 AM

I'm happy to see a coordinated effort to document and reduce the number of stop arm violations. As a school bus driver I experience between six and ten violations on average per week. Although I attempt to gather the information needed to assist law enforcement, I am seldom able to document the data required, such as license plate info, due to the varying circumstances of each occurrence.

Jack C.    |    Mar 01, 2011 06:05 PM

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