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Calif. agency adds $10K to vouchers for hybrid buses
November 7, 2011
Thomas Built’s Saf-T-Liner C2e hybrid school bus and IC Bus’ CE Series bus with a hybrid-electric system are eligible for the funding as part of the California Air Resources Board's Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project. Joe Calavita, air pollution specialist for the agency, tells SBF that previously, most buses were eligible for $20,000 each, and now pupil transporters can get $30,000, plus $5,000 for the first bus purchased.
EPA awards $1.3M in Missouri, Kansas for clean buses
November 7, 2011
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources receives $999,460 for its “Clean Up Missouri” Project to replace, retrofit and repower school buses throughout the state, while the Kansas Department of Health & Environment receives $343,450 for similar efforts. The money will go toward 196 school buses in Missouri and 59 buses in Kansas.
Mary Ellen Buning of the University of Louisville in Kentucky shared preliminary findings from a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center study on wheelchair use and safety in school transportation.
Wheelchair use study discussed at NAPT Summit
November 7, 2011
Mary Ellen Buning of the University of Louisville in Kentucky spoke to attendees about the preliminary findings and data from a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center study on wheelchair use and safety in school transportation. Bus drivers and attendants were surveyed and asked questions related to training, wheelchair securement and lap-shoulder restraints, among other topics.
Va. DOE reviews district’s special-needs training procedures
November 7, 2011
The announcement comes after a $20 million suit was filed against the Bedford County school system over alleged beatings transportation aides administered to a severely autistic student in 2009. The incident was reportedly captured on the bus’ surveillance camera.
Bus security DVD sent to nation’s school districts
November 3, 2011
The Transportation Security Administration is mailing the School Bus First Observer and School Transportation Security Awareness programs to around 15,000 public school districts, urging administrators to use them for in-service training. Agency official Steve Sprague also tells SBF that First Observer will continue beyond the three-year grant that created it.
Chinese officials study school bus safety in U.S.
November 3, 2011
During a visit to the Connecticut DMV, traffic security officials from the Chinese government learn about the state’s school bus safety program. DMV staff members perform a complete school bus inspection and discuss student transportation safety issues.
Stop-arm safety campaign launched in Ariz.
November 3, 2011
Washington Elementary School District No. 6 Special Education Transportation Supervisor Antonio "Tony" Mlynek introduces "For Children's Sake, Stop for School Buses." The campaign includes television and print messages, and is the first PSA to address the topic in the state, according to Mlynek.
9-year-old throws asphalt at bus, chair at deputy
November 3, 2011
Amber Dawn Harris is charged with multiple felonies after she spits on school staff on board the bus, then exits the bus and throws pieces of broken asphalt at it. A deputy responds to the scene and follows Harris, who retrieves a metal chair from a yard and throws it, striking the deputy.
New NAPT board members elected
November 3, 2011
Don Carnahan of Zonar Systems is president-elect and Barry Sudduth of Stafford County Public Schools in Virginia is elected Region 2 director. Ken Mulder of Special School District of St. Louis County in Missouri is elected Region 4 director and Dave McDonald of Rosco Vision Systems is affiliate member director. Also during the Summit, winners were chosen for the NAPT poster contest.
Tags: NAPT
Once a bus' stop arm is activated, the CrossingGuard School Bus Stop Arm Violation Enforcement System automatically detects if a vehicle passes the stopped bus.
Camera system captures illegal bus passing incidents
November 2, 2011
The CrossingGuard School Bus Stop Arm Violation Enforcement System from American Traffic Solutions consists of high-resolution cameras mounted to the front and rear driver's side of a bus. When the school bus extends its stop arm, the system automatically detects if a vehicle passes the bus within the enforced zone. Officials say the CrossingGuard system does not require any action by the bus driver to activate it.
N.J. bill would mandate background checks for bus aides
November 1, 2011
Assemblywoman Connie Wagner is pushing legislation that would augment criminal background check requirements for school bus personnel to include all adults given responsibility for the safety of schoolchildren, which she said would close a loophole that left out bus aides. The measure also would enhance penalties against any employee found tampering with a school bus' onboard monitoring device.
Rotary Lift offers full line of inground lifts
November 1, 2011
With the introduction of the EFX60 scissor lift, Rotary Lift now offers a full line of heavy-duty inground lifts to meet any bus maintenance application, according to the company. The EFX60 joins the MOD30 modular environmentally friendly inground lift and the traditional inground lift in the heavy-duty line-up.
NTSB study reports on curbside motorcoach safety
October 31, 2011
The six-month study was initiated following a March 12 bus accident that killed 15 people and injured 18 more. Among the findings are that curbside carriers with 10 or fewer buses and carriers who have been in business for 10 years or less have higher accident rates and higher roadside inspection violation rates.
OSBA honors pupil transporters with new awards
October 31, 2011
The Ontario School Bus Association launches an awards program, which comprises the Industry Achievement Award and the Driver Excellence Award. The first award is given to an individual who has made a special contribution to the industry, and the latter is given to a school bus driver who has demonstrated exemplary abilities.
Tags: Ontario
Aide LaVay Calhoun and driver Ron Rook were praised for their response to a medical emergency on their bus. The duo was profiled in SBF's first "Heroes in School Transportation" feature.
REMINDER: SBF to spotlight school bus heroes
October 31, 2011
Our "Heroes in School Transportation" feature will again profile people in the industry who have saved a life or performed some other heroic act. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, Nov. 4.
A NASDPTS position paper explains that flammability standards being proposed in lobbying efforts aren't suited for pupil transportation. Nevada state director Diana Hollander and Maryland state director Leon Langley have already contended with such legislation.
School bus officials cite concerns on flammability lobbying
October 28, 2011
Chemical companies are reportedly funding a nonprofit group that is lobbying state legislatures to adopt additional flammability standards for school buses. A new position paper from NASDPTS explains that the standards being proposed aren't suited for pupil transportation — and the industry's own national specifications are actually more stringent.
This chart, from one of NHTSA's new posters, shows how much safer the yellow bus is than other ways to get to school. The gray figures represent modes like walking and biking.
NHTSA unveils school bus promotional posters
October 27, 2011
The materials display eye-catching charts and facts on why parents should choose the school bus over other modes of transportation for their kids. “Students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends,” one of the posters declares.
The trade show during the NAPT Summit featured products and buses from nearly 130 industry suppliers.
NAPT trade show features many new products
October 27, 2011
Among the new products from the nearly 130 exhibitors is a quasi-static three-point activity seat from Freedman Seating Co., a camera system from Fortress Mobile that captures stop-arm violators and a condenser from American Cooling Technology. Thomas Built Buses displays its redesigned Type D unit, the Saf-T-Liner EFX, while Blue Bird displays its Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision school bus.
NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman credited state directors and others in the industry for their work to prevent school bus-train crashes.
Feds show school bus support at NASDPTS meetings
October 27, 2011
At the annual conference of state pupil transportation directors, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland touts the safety and environmental benefits of the “humble yellow school bus,” as he calls it. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman credits state directors and others in the industry for their work to prevent school bus-train crashes.
John Barrington joins Lion Bus as sales exec
October 27, 2011
Barrington, who has more than 20 years of experience in the school bus industry, will serve as vice president of sales and compliance for the U.S. He will be responsible for Lion Bus sales and distribution in the U.S., and specific product compliance per region.

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