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Ore. district enhances service, cuts crashes by 25%
September 29, 2011
Over the past year, Salem-Keizer Public Schools significantly reduced its accident rate, improved processing time for special-needs passengers and developed new bell times. Transportation department members also received some key honors from the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association.
N.J. extends service life of certain buses to 15 years
September 29, 2011
Under legislation that was recently signed into law, school buses manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2007, and school buses manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 2007, that have been installed with closed crankcase technology can remain in service for 15 years, which is up from 12 years. The law does not apply to transit-style school buses whose gross vehicle weight exceeds 25,000 pounds and Type S school buses.
Ky. district staff honored for dedication to student safety
September 29, 2011
The Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation names John Odom, Warren County Public Schools’ director of transportation, Director of the Year at its annual recognition dinner. Mary McGrew is named the state's Driver of the Year, and Dickie Sadler is recognized as Special Needs Driver of the Year.
Tags: Kentucky
NAPT awards over a dozen scholarships
September 29, 2011
The scholarships cover the cost of registration to attend the 2011 Annual NAPT Summit, which will be held in Cincinnati next month. The funding for nine of the scholarships was provided by Zonar Systems. The funding for four of the scholarships was provided by Peter Lawrence, director of transportation for the Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District, and his wife, Linda.
During their annual gathering next month, state pupil transportation directors will hear from former Utah Jazz player Mark Eaton, who recorded a PSA promoting the yellow school bus.
Former NBA star to speak at NASDPTS conference
September 29, 2011
During their annual gathering next month, state pupil transportation directors will hear a keynote address from former Utah Jazz player Mark Eaton, who recently recorded a PSA promoting the yellow school bus. Also on the conference lineup are high-profile feds, including NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
A-Z Bus Sales promotes top exec
September 28, 2011
Jim Reynolds, who has served as president since 2006, is now president and CEO. In his new role, Reynolds will continue to direct the business activities of A-Z Bus Sales, and he will add the responsibilities of strategic planning, corporate succession planning, and mergers and acquisitions.
Police conducting thousands of surprise bus inspections
September 27, 2011
The two-week strike force targets motorcoaches, tour buses, school buses and other passenger vehicles across the country. It is launched on the same day as the federal government’s Motorcoach Safety Summit.
Former bus driver honored for preventing possible child abduction
September 27, 2011
Kandi Burnham is honored at Florida's annual Missing Children's Day for her actions. In December, Burnham became suspicious of a man who approached her bus pushing a wheelchair and asked for one of the students on board her bus. The man claimed to be the student's father, then her uncle. Burnham drove off and reported the incident.
Thomas Built Buses engineers review an array of recently installed upgrades on a prototype of the EFX.
Thomas Built boosts storage, access in redesigned Type D bus
September 27, 2011
The school bus manufacturer says that the Saf-T-Liner EFX’s redesigned exterior allows easier access to electrical components, while increased cockpit storage makes it more comfortable and convenient for drivers. President and CEO Kelley Platt and Product Planning Manager Jed Routh discuss the new bus in an interview with SBF.
Suicidal man sentenced for crashing into bus
September 27, 2011
Joseph Anthony Garcia pleads guilty to eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon and is sentenced to two years in prison on each count for ramming his car into a California school district's bus last year. Moments before the crash, Garcia failed in an apparent attempt to leap to his death by climbing a highway overpass.
Blue Bird donates $7K to education center
September 27, 2011
The school bus manufacturer presents a $7,396 check to be used for Kay Center athletes’ travel expenses as they compete in the Special Olympics. The Kay Center provides work programs for adults with developmental disabilities, and about 60 percent of the center’s programs revolve around Blue Bird outsourced job functions.
Safe Havens International will soon release a set of videos on crisis preparedness for the school bus environment. This is a still shot from a video about a student reporting a weapon on the bus.Photo by Rachel Wilson, Safe Havens International.
Videos to instruct on school bus crisis response
September 26, 2011
The set of DVDs from Safe Havens International will cover such topics as why video tabletops and mental simulation exercises are effective at improving employees’ performance under life-and-death conditions. The organization has been using the scenarios in the videos for training purposes at school districts and to evaluate their level of preparedness. Safe Havens Executive Director Michael Dorn discusses the findings with SBF.
Volusia County Schools has four bus garages, each of which competes as a team in the district's annual in-house technician skills competition.
District’s techs hone skills, vie for 'Top Shop' title
September 22, 2011
Volusia County (Fla.) Schools holds an in-house technician skills competition to coordinate training and team-building exercises. The district has four bus garages, each of which competes as a team for the bragging rights to be named Top Shop for a year.
NHTSA launches traffic safety campaign for kids
September 22, 2011
The agency partners with the creators of the animated series “Chuggington” for the effort. It includes a public service announcement featuring characters from the show, a kid-focused safety pledge, and downloadable safety tips and activities on school buses, bikes and car seat use for parents and caregivers to use with children.
Tags: NHTSA
Rotary Lift expands installer training to cover new products
September 22, 2011
The company adds a third full day to its Rotary Authorized Installer regular factory training classes, which is intended to thoroughly cover proper lift installation and service for new products. Attendees will work together to install lifts, take apart and rebuild hydraulic cylinders and accessories, and practice various service techniques.
Hearing for bus drivers in fatal Mo. crash rescheduled
September 22, 2011
Katherine Shackelford and Kelly McEnnis-Mullenix were to be arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of careless and imprudent driving for their part in a collision last year that killed two teens. The women's attorneys appear in court and reschedule the hearing for December.
In Ohio, the annual school bus crash rate has dropped about 25 percent over the past 11 years. Pictured is a bus on the streets of Cincinnati.
Why school bus crashes are on the decline in Ohio
September 22, 2011
State director Pete Japikse says that better training and management practices have led to a steady decrease — about 25 percent over the past 11 years — in the number of school bus accidents in Ohio. He discusses the state's safety efforts in an interview with SBF.
Man stops runaway bus, helps ailing driver
September 21, 2011
Matt Collins observes the school bus drift through an intersection, and it appears as though no one is driving the vehicle. When he runs up to the bus and opens the door, he finds the driver slumped over without a pulse, so he puts on the bus’ parking brake and begins administering CPR on the driver.
Texas district gets $2M to buy propane buses
September 20, 2011
Northside Independent School District in San Antonio receives a $2,001,682 check for buying 122 Blue Bird propane school buses. Director of Transportation Rafael Salazar notes that the district “has been committed to using propane for the past 30 years.”
Tags: Texas
Newsletters, videos to provide training for N.Y. bus drivers
September 20, 2011
The Cyr Foundation for Excellence in School Transportation launches a new educational program aimed at providing useful information for school bus drivers. The program includes a monthly newsletter and a 15-minute training video six times over the school year. The first issue of "In the Drivers' Seat" was sent to 60 districts across the state on Monday.

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