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 School Bus Driver Noise and Distraction
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  08:31:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The article below does not state the details of the situation, but the bus driver did state that she was doing the best she could while trying to drive safely in traffic.

Is this a case of the bus driver being blamed for not being able to discipline students while she is trying to safely drive a bus in traffic?

"A former Appomattox County school bus driver was indicted Tuesday on a felony child neglect charge in connection with a May 5 incident on her bus.

Nancy Davis is accused of not intervening as two 15-year-olds yelled at and assaulted a 10-year-old as they rode to their homes in Appomattox County from the Rivermont School in Lynchburg, which teaches students who have emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. The incident was caught on videotape.

Davisís lawyer said in a previous hearing that his client did the best she could while trying to safely drive the bus."

http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2011/nov/21/former-appomattox-bus-drivers-child-neglect-trial--ar-1474614/
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  08:34:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote

The article below does not state the details of the case, but the bus driver commented she was doing the best she could while trying to drive the bus safely.

Is this a case of the bus driver being blamed for not being able to discipline students while she is trying to safely drive a bus in traffic?

"A former Appomattox County school bus driver was indicted Tuesday on a felony child neglect charge in connection with a May 5 incident on her bus.

Nancy Davis is accused of not intervening as two 15-year-olds yelled at and assaulted a 10-year-old as they rode to their homes in Appomattox County from the Rivermont School in Lynchburg, which teaches students who have emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. The incident was caught on videotape.

Davisís lawyer said in a previous hearing that his client did the best she could while trying to safely drive the bus."

http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2011/nov/21/former-appomattox-bus-drivers-child-neglect-trial--ar-1474614/
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  09:21:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A school bus driver was indicted with a felony child neglect charge, being accused of not intervening when some teenagers yelled and assaulted a 10-year-old.

The bus driver said she was doing the best she could while trying to drive a bus.

http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2011/nov/21/former-appomattox-bus-drivers-child-neglect-trial--ar-1474614/

The article doesn't state the details of the case, but is this another situation when the bus driver, for legitimate reasons, was unable to stop the bus and had to concentrate on driving safely in traffic?



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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  09:41:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I apologize for multiple comments on the same article. I didn't realize the thread was on the second page until I had resubmitted it the third time.
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laneganr
New Member

8 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2012 :  2:21:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit laneganr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow! 207 signatures as of today Wed. Jan. 11th, 2012! A *BIG* thank you to those who have signed it so far. We have 4 more days to go to get the rest - a lot! I don't personally think we're going to make it, but who knows!!???? Here's the link again:

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/fund-1m-virginia-tech-transportation-instutes-vtti-school-bus-distraction-study-child-transportation/dCmJsRKt

Thanks everyone for the effort.
Riki
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2012 :  09:02:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A girl was seriously beaten by a group of other students on the school bus. It is difficult to believe that VTTI already has the means to do a scientific study that could lead to measures that drastically curb such tragedies, yet they don't have a million dollars (which is miniscule when you look at the total budget of the United States versus the nationwide impact it would have)to undertake the study. This girl was powerless as hundreds of other students are, as well as the bus drivers. How many more tragedies like this will it take for something to be done? - maybe if this girl were the daughter of someone important that had the power to begin to change the system. These kids were arrested, but this is usually the outcome,something is done after the fact of the incident. There needs to be something in place that prevents the situation from getting out of hand in the first place.
http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/Channel/School-Bus-Safety/news/2012/01/10/7-students-receive-home-detention-in-bus-beating.aspx
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2012 :  10:29:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with the need for the study. Regardless, with or without the study something can be done now to curb the violence escalating on the school buses. All my years driving bus it is was rare not to have a precursor to a violent episode on the bus, very rare. The most effective and natural method to intervention is to properly train the bus driver to identify the triggers leading to violence and support the driver's authority to immediately have escorted off the bus any child or children refusing to follow the bus driver's directions, and not allow these back on the buses until fully resolved with the child, the parent, and the bus driver. This issue is not one of authorization, my guess is all states already authorize the school bus driver to refuse to transport a hazard, but is that of management and administration ego. In some cases administrative elitist mentality issues are not resolved, exercise over control of the bus driverís duties, and in some cases bus drivers want the school or management to solve the problem for them. Students disrespecting their bus drivers is not a normal behavior, it is a learned behavior from watching and learning from adults that disrespect the same bus drivers. Break the cycle of disrespect adults demonstrate toward their school bus drivers can break the cycle of disrespect children also act out. (jk)

Dangerous Noise Levels on School Buses?
Click here for story.

Is a new kind of School Bus Safety Week needed?
Click here for story.

Edited by - JK on 01/14/2012 10:31:20 AM
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  07:52:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interestingly, the public raised $700,000 for bus monitor Karen Klein who was taunted by a group of students,yet bus drivers often put up with much worse. In addition, that amount would almost pay for the study (one million dollars). This is a scientific study that could produced some real solutions and make recommendations for law changes to help curb disturbing behaviors on America's school buses.
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2012 :  1:02:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There is an article in the Buffalo News about the National Transportation Board proposed School Bus Driver Distraction study http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial-page/from-our-readers/another-voice/article950089.ece
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littlebit
Advanced Member

431 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2012 :  4:56:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to agree with the comment under that article.. You can study it all day long, the answer is still going to be the same driver distractions cause accidents. Until you have administration that will back you the driver up, by actually punishing the students and enforcing the bus rules, then all the studies in the world is a waste.

Bus 34
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2012 :  11:37:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, it has been an on-going problem for decades as the Transportation Research board has noted in its review of the literature. Some bus drivers have more control than others and some buses are more well-behaved than others. Bus drivers are in a unique situation and are essentially doing two tasks: driving a large vehicle safely in traffic while simultaneously monitoring up to 70 students' behavior and dealing with sometimes very high noise levels. Since children are the only ones usually riding the bus (besides the driver), Most adults as well as school administration don't have a clue what is going on until it is a problem. Then they deal with the problem and life goes on until there is a another problem and the cycle is repeated over and over.

The School Bus Driver Distraction study is not a panacea in and of itself. There has never been a scientific study to delve into this problem. So the root of the problem never gets addressed. What is acceptable behavior? There needs to be clear guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not. Is there a cut-off for high noise levels (which can contribute to behavior issues)? If so, then what should that boundary be (in decibels)? Is there going to be the necessary enforcement to boot the disruptive riders off the bus and not let them back on until there is true change.

That is what the proposed National Transportation Research Board study is all about. It would be the first scientific study for school bus distraction. It would ‚Äúcollect naturalistic, real-time data of school bus drivers performing their normal driving tasks during bus routes,‚ÄĚ and would also include the study of noise levels. Did you know there has never been a study of how loud school bus noise is? Many accidents, assaults, injuries and some deaths have been attributed to high noise levels on the bus. In addition, by identifying and minimizing the sources of school bus driver distraction (including student passenger behavior),school bus crashes could be reduced. The key to having the study is that, "Potential regulatory actions may be identified that enhance and promote safe school bus operations and protect student passengers as well as all highway."

I know a lot of people are not for more regulatory intervention,, but since this is a nation-wide problem, there needs to be some type of federal regulations on this issue. Many local districts do not have the resources, time or clout to deal with school bus issues. There needs to be uniform conduct expectations AND follow-through to be able to remove disruptive students and the bus drivers knowing they have some kind of control over their situation. Another important factor is consistency in enforcing the expectations. This study could affect changes in Congress and make the public more aware of the problem and the stress school bus drivers endure day in and day out. Hopefully there will be changes that give school bus drivers the clout to do something and force district administration to deal with the problem too.

The million dollars is a drop in the bucked considering this is a national issue. The potential savings would pay for itself since there have been million dollar lawsuit awards paid out to families of children who have been assaulted and killed on school buses. There has really never been any long-lasting solutions and never a scientific study. We can knock the study and say it won't make a difference and continue with the same problems and issues or we can at least try a different approach. The recommendations can be used to enable Congress to pass federal laws so we can seriously curb behavior and distraction on our nations' school buses.
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gpuetz
New Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2012 :  07:05:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit gpuetz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
While legitimate studies by professional organizations are helpful, it has already been made abundantly clear (and accepted by the public in general) that distracted driving is dangerous and leads to accidents involving injuries and death.

More than anything else, this is a problem of culture and perception; the culture of pupil transportation and the public perception of who we are and what we do. For too long, we have acted as if we alone know the answer and it should be obvious to everyone else. We act as if we're powerless to change "the way it is." Someone else needs to fix it. The truth is, until WE act to teach our students, educate our stakeholders and invite them to partner with us to protect students, we share responsibilty for the problem.

If we want positive results, we need to be positive and passionate about what we do. If we expect to be treated as part of the classroom, we need to be teachers. If we want students to understand school bus safety, we need to set clear expectations and make it simple to learn. If we expect others to value what we believe, we need to relate it to beliefs they already embrace.

I invite you to read "The Elvis Way." (link below) It is just a small way we are changing the culture of pupil transportation and the way we are viewed by our stakeholders.

http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/cms/lib3/GA01000373/Centricity/Domain/34/The%20Elvis%20Way%20Book.pdf
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  01:56:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412611
Here is another case where noise is an issue. From the article, I quote,
"With the amount of noise on a typical school bus . . . . . ."
Noise issues continue to be ignored, no matter what does or doesn't happen on the school buses.
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sbd37091
Senior Member

93 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2012 :  5:19:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our school district owned buses have video recorders which also record sound. I assume they are legal in Tennessee.

I have watched a replay of the video recording and I was impressed that I could students who were almost whispering.
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SSAPM
Active Member

34 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2012 :  10:14:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit SSAPM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is something interesting, something I have been wondering whether or not this would come to fruition inside school buses. If school bus drivers were covered under OSHA, I guarantee something would be done about noise levels. Of course, flight attendants and the flying public have more clout than school bus drivers and children.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/30/travel/flight-attendants-osha/
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RweThereYet
Active Member

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2012 :  09:07:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Could you type a little louder, I can't hear you above the noise in here.....

Sadly, we have a few buses which are leaving our fleet earlier than usual due to the ourageous amount of engine / blower noise that they generate.

When the blower kicks in you could have you radio set at full volume and never have a clue that someone is calling you on the radio.

Add in the road noise, basis engine noise, the general noise of a usual ride and it got unnerving at times - real unnerving on others!

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