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NTSB: Ban cell phone use for commercial drivers
September 15, 2011
Citing distraction from the use of a mobile phone by a truck driver as the probable cause of a crash that killed 11 people, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends banning the use of mobile phones by commercial drivers, except in emergencies.
Special-needs conference to offer over 40 hours of training
September 15, 2011
Registration is now open for the 2012 National Conference on Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers, to be held in Orlando, Fla., March 9-14. Sessions will include “Compliance Versus Excellence,” “Medications on the School Bus,” and “Couples Therapy” — for relationships between transportation and special-ed departments.
Driver suspended for leaving student dangling from bus doors
September 15, 2011
The school bus driver reportedly stops in front of 5-year-old Alexis Luvell’s home and opens the doors to let her out, but drives off before ensuring that the girl has fully exited the bus. Her backpack is caught in the doors, and she is left hanging as the bus drives 41 feet down the road. The incident is under investigation.
Gasboy says new warm weather DEF dispenser can cut costs
September 15, 2011
The company's Warm Weather Atlas Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) dispenser does not include a heated cabinet. According to officials, this reduces the total cost of ownership for fleet operators in locations that do not approach the DEF freeze point of 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blue Bird honors suppliers during conference
September 14, 2011
The school bus manufacturer recognizes Amtech LLC, The C.E. White Co., Cummins Inc., Dekalb Tool and Die, Five Points Services Inc. and Quality Drive Away Inc. with its 2011 Global Supplier of the Year Award at its annual Supplier Conference.
$5K awarded in America's Best scholarship program
September 13, 2011
The funds from Delco Remy go to qualifying school bus technicians and inspectors to help them attend NAPT's 2011 America's Best competition.
Industry veteran Barry Stock is coming out of retirement to become a principal at a new school bus contracting company, Landmark Student Transportation.
Barry Stock joins new school bus company
September 13, 2011
The industry veteran comes out of retirement to serve as a principal of Landmark Student Transportation, a new contractor based in Ontario. "I'm too young to completely retire," Stock says, "and school busing is what I love and know best."
Mass. district scraps new busing plan
September 13, 2011
North Attleboro Public Schools will reinstate bus service to all stops and go back to using last year’s routes after deficiencies in its new busing plan are revealed during the first week of school. A bus that was cut from the fleet to save the district $45,000 reportedly will be brought back into service by W.T. Holmes Transportation Co. at no cost to the district.
Raccoon is chased off school bus, killed
September 13, 2011
A North Carolina driver takes a bus to a high school and realizes a raccoon is on board. A school resource officer chases the animal into a clearing, where it is shot and killed. The animal is being tested for rabies, and the bus is being kept at a shelter until a decision is made to put it back into service.
National Express Group to acquire Petermann
September 13, 2011
The parent company of Durham School Services and Stock Transportation has signed an agreement to acquire Petermann, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and has operations across 10 states in the West, Midwest and Southwest. Officials say the acquisition will increase National Express’ fleet size to 20,000 buses and introduce the company to new states.
Blue Bird launches Facebook, Twitter pages
September 12, 2011
The school bus manufacturer’s corporate fan page on Facebook features information on Blue Bird’s history, news and events, as well as photos and videos. In addition to following Blue Bird on Twitter, customers and fans can text “follow @BlueBirdBuses” to 40404 to receive text message updates on their mobile phones.
Revamping special-needs bus routes leads to promotion
September 12, 2011
Sonya Smith began as transportation secretary at Calhoun County (Ala.) Schools. After proving her expertise by reworking routes for special-needs students, Smith was hired as the district's first route specialist.
Tags: routing
First Canadian pupil transporter completes NAPT special-needs training
September 12, 2011
Shelley Fletcher-Halls, an employee of STC Elliott Coach Lines, is the ninth person overall to complete the association's Special Needs Transportation Training Program. The program comprises six special-needs courses in a variety of settings and is supplemented by two courses of elective instruction from the NAPT Professional Development Series Program.
Tags: NAPT
Former bus driver receives light sentence for DUI
September 9, 2011
Christine Rogers is sentenced to 72 hours to three months in prison, 104 hours of community service and fined $1,000 for driving impaired while transporting a special-needs student last year. Rogers’ attorney had asked for leniency in sentencing due to her remorse for the incident and her abstention from any drugs or alcohol since her arrest.
Survey: 54% of Mich. districts now contract out services
September 8, 2011
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy finds that for the first time, more than half of Michigan school districts now use private vendors to provide food, custodial or transportation services. Statewide, transportation contracting grew the fastest, rising 27 percent from last year.
Seon’s new bus exterior camera can target stop-arm runners
September 8, 2011
The CA Wedge is aimed at providing clear bus-exterior video in all weather conditions. It supports lenses from 2.9 to 3.6 mm for wide-angle door-entry applications, and 16 to 25 mm lenses for identifying stop-arm violation vehicles.
School Bus Safety Co. offers OSHA compliance program
September 8, 2011
The company's fourth instruction module, the OSHA Compliance Toolkit, is designed for both school bus technicians and drivers. It is intended to help managers achieve compliance quickly and easily, company officials say.
Batteries stolen from 32 Miami school buses
September 8, 2011
Officials discover Tuesday that batteries were stolen from 32 buses at Miami-Dade County Public Schools' bus depot. Alternate buses are used to complete bus routes, but the theft affects 800 students during the morning commute and 400 in the afternoon.
Tags: batteries
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently declared September as “Idle Free Awareness Month.” His declaration cites the success of Utah’s school bus idling reduction program as an example for the rest of the state.
Photo by Wikipedia user Gw.hajduk
Utah bus idling reduction program inspires statewide effort
September 7, 2011
Gov. Gary Herbert declares September 2011 “Idle Free Awareness Month,” and the declaration cites the success of Utah’s school bus idling reduction program as an example for the rest of the state. Murrell Martin of the Utah State Office of Education discusses with SBF the benefits of the program since its inception in 2008.
1 dead, dozens injured as school bus overturns
September 6, 2011
The bus, returning from a football game, is struck around midnight by a car that failed to yield at a stop sign, according to police. A 15-year-old student on the bus dies in the accident, and about 30 others are taken to hospitals.

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