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Stop-arm cameras violate surveillance ban, critics say
July 22, 2014
Those opposed to the newly-installed cameras on Iowa City (Iowa) Community School District school buses say they violate the city’s traffic camera ban, and systems like this are designed to create revenue, not improve safety. Iowa City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes disagrees, saying that the law bans traffic cameras only for “qualified traffic violations” and stop-arm violations are not included.
Nebraska school’s propane bus investment pays off
July 22, 2014
Omaha Public Schools and Student Transportation Inc. (STI) collaborated on the district’s deployment of 435 Blue Bird Vision propane school buses last summer, which has saved approximately $200,000 versus diesel. In a new video released last week by the Propane Education & Research Council, school officials and the contractor explain the convenience of maintenance, cost savings, and performance of the buses in the state’s frigid winters.
On July 20, 100 contestants competed in one of three categories: conventional, small bus, or transit.  Pictured here are buses used in the small bus category at West Ashley High School in Charleston, South Carolina.
3 previous winners take top spots in bus safety competition
July 22, 2014
At the 44th Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition, hosted in Charleston, South Carolina, by the National School Transportation Association, three previous winners again take top spots: Billy Wiseman of West Virginia, in the conventional category; Russell Alitzer of Virginia, in the small bus category; and John Welsh of Pennsylvania, in the transit category.
Washingtonville Central School District saves 40% per gallon on fuel costs and 30% on routine maintenance costs compared to diesel, according to a recent case study.
District sees lower costs, emissions with propane buses
July 21, 2014
A case study on Washingtonville (N.Y.) Central School District’s usage of Blue Bird buses equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems finds that the district spent about 30% less on maintenance for the autogas portion of its fleet and will eliminate about 120,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per bus during the lifetime of the vehicles.
Many school districts employ multiple surveillance cameras per bus for a broad range of views. Photo by Bill McChesney - Flickr: 32980
Trends in school bus camera implementation
July 21, 2014
An analysis of recent school district contracts for bus video surveillance systems finds an average purchase of three cameras per bus. That and other dynamics are identified in this article by market analyst Paul Irby.
Trans Tech’s SST school bus has gone through Altoona STURAA testing, with results including an average miles per gallon of 9.60.
Trans Tech Bus adds 2 new dealers, Altoona-tests SST model
July 18, 2014
The Type A school bus manufacturer appoints two new dealers for the Canadian market and announces that its complete product line is now available in Canada. Meanwhile, Trans Tech’s SST school bus goes through Altoona STURAA testing, with results including an average miles per gallon of 9.60.
Muncie Community Schools has redesigned and rebid its school bus routes to cut costs.  Photo by Kolin Toney. Edited by SBF.
Short on funds, Indiana district cuts buses, lengthens routes
July 18, 2014
After a year that saw a transportation funding referendum defeated and a waiver to end school bus service denied, Muncie Community Schools redesigns and rebids its bus routes to cut costs. Most of the routes are now longer and will carry more students on each bus, and there are fewer buses overall.
The propane version of Thomas Built’s C2 uses CleanFUEL USA’s liquid propane injection system.
CleanFUEL USA fuel system powers new Thomas propane bus
July 17, 2014
CleanFUEL USA’s liquid propane injection system is employed by the Thomas Built Buses propane Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus as well as the Freightliner Custom Chassis S2G medium-duty truck, both of which are now in full production.
Distracted bus driver cited in crash that injured 29 students
July 17, 2014
John Logan, a Lewis County (Mo.) C-1 School District bus driver, is charged with improper lane usage resulting in an accident on April 1. While Logan slides a trash can to a child who says she is sick, the front right tire drops off the road and he reportedly over-steers to correct the bus, causing it to slide down an embankment and roll on its top. The Missouri State Highway Patrol report concludes that Logan was at fault because the driver is responsible for staying focused on driving.
From left: Paul Gibson, National Safety Council; Gary Catapano, First Student’s senior VP of safety; Dennis Maple, president of First Student; and Michael Pollock, National Safety Council.
First Student wins award from National Safety Council
July 17, 2014
The school bus contractor is recognized with an Occupational Excellence Achievement Award. The honor is for companies that have reported injuries and illnesses that involved days away from work equal to or less than 50% of the Bureau of Labor Statistics rate for their national industry classification and have had no fatalities during the previous calendar year.
Judge rules district owes $770K for bus collision
July 17, 2014
Norris School District is ordered to pay 70% of the damages awarded to Jeff Hall, a pickup truck driver injured in a 2009 collision with a district school bus. The Nebraska Supreme Court overrules a 2010 ruling by the trial court that apportioned 20% of the liability to the county, instructing the trial court to reapportion it between the truck driver and the district. The trial court judge orders the district to cover all 20% plus the initial 50% he had previously ordered it to pay.
6 Tips for School Bus Seat Cover Care and Replacement
July 17, 2014
Regular cleaning and inspections of school bus seat covers can increase their life expectancy while easing tight budgets and helping to ensure children’s safety. Here’s guidance on how to maintain the seat covers — and when they should be replaced.
Among changes to Iowa's school transportation equipment specs is a requirement for remote-controlled mirrors. Photo by John Horton
Iowa updates school bus spec rules
July 16, 2014
Among changes to the state's school transportation equipment specs are requirements for remote-controlled mirrors, fluorescent seat belts for drivers, and fire block upholstery in all seating positions. Lap belts are no longer allowed on new school buses in Iowa, except for use with child seats.
Under a new contract with St. Paul Public Schools, Student Transportation of America will provide new propane-powered vehicles. Pictured is one of the company's propane buses in Nebraska.
New contract brings 65 propane buses to Minnesota district
July 16, 2014
Under the five-year, $4 million contract with St. Paul Public Schools, Student Transportation of America will provide new propane-powered vehicles and a refurbished facility. The contract award also marks the expansion of the company's operations in Minnesota.
Kansas Highway Patrol troopers will check buses statewide from the middle of July until the beginning of the school session to make sure the vehicles comply with safety regulations.
Kansas Highway Patrol conducting school bus inspections
July 16, 2014
Troopers will check buses statewide from the middle of July until the beginning of the school session to make sure the vehicles comply with safety regulations. Some of the items troopers will check are the lights, emergency exits, tires, windshield wipers, fire extinguishers, first aid kits and emergency spill kits.
A web seminar will address how student transportation departments can collaborate with Safe Routes to School to help children get to school safely. Photo from Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Free webinar on working with Safe Routes to School
July 15, 2014
The web seminar on Thursday will address how student transportation departments can collaborate with Safe Routes to School to help children get to school safely. The program will also showcase a transportation department that gets kids to school by foot, bicycle, scooter, school bus and carpool.
Woman accused of kidnapping girl from bus to plead insanity
July 15, 2014
Marian Moussa allegedly claimed she was the mother of the girl, a special-needs student, so she could remove her from a school bus on Jan. 14, 2013. Moussa turned down a prosecution offer to plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term, while a kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, officials say.
Nominations open for 2014 Sustainability All Stars
July 15, 2014
The awards program recognizes fleet professionals who have made significant contributions to fleet environmental sustainability, such as deploying alternative-fuel vehicles or implementing idle-reduction policies. Last year’s Sustainability All Stars included several recipients from the school transportation industry.
Site of fatal school bus crash converted to traffic circle
July 15, 2014
The intersection in Chesterfield, N.J., where one student was killed and 17 others were injured when a dump truck struck their school bus in 2012, was previously controlled by a two-way stop sign. There were 15 accidents at the intersection between 2007 and 2011, but investigators determined that, based on the bus’s position, the layout of the intersection did not contribute to the 2012 accident.
First Student names area general manager for Washington
July 14, 2014
Bill Noftz will be responsible for the overall performance of the school bus contractor’s Washington state locations, including financial results, operational performance, safety, fleet and maintenance. Noftz has more than 25 years of experience in the school transportation industry.
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