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SBF Publisher Frank Di Giacomo (left) presents the Contractor of the Year award to Kevin Clifford of Huntington Coach Corp. At right is new NSTA President Magda Dimmendaal.
Photo by Wim Dimmendaal
Kevin Clifford named Contractor of the Year
July 21, 2011
The president of Huntington Coach Corp. in New York has a passion for saving money for school districts and for growing the school bus contractor presence in the industry. Clifford and other contractors are honored at NSTA's awards ceremony.
NASDPTS responds to article on school bus advertising
July 20, 2011
The state directors association sends a letter to an official at the National Education Association explaining its reasons for opposing bus ads, and offers its support to the education association on efforts to maintain school bus ridership. The letter is in response to an article published in NEA Today that discusses school districts that permit advertising on the exterior of their buses and the money that’s been generated as a result of it.
Jim Vermillion, who recently retired from Jay School Corp. in Portland, Ind., is pictured here on the day he got his last new school bus, a 2009 Blue Bird unit — one of the operation's first air-conditioned models. Photo courtesy of Jay School Corp.
School bus driver retires after 60 years
July 20, 2011
Jim Vermillion drove four generations of families in Indiana over the course of his career. He discusses with SBF his first bus and his experiences behind the wheel. The transportation director at the school corporation where he worked praises his work ethic and attitude.
Navistar Parts products to be sold on Amazon.com
July 20, 2011
The company’s PARTSMART parts, which are used for International and IC Bus brand vehicles and MaxxForce brand diesel engines, can be ordered through the e-commerce site. Customers can customize their shipping preferences, see product reviews and use a variety of payment options.
Tags: IC Bus
NHTSA assessing pedestrian safety around hybrid vehicles
July 19, 2011
Possible rulemakings include requiring electric and hybrid vehicle makers to add sounds that alert the visually impaired and other pedestrians when these vehicles are operating at low speeds. A NHTSA spokesperson confirms that school buses would be included.

Tags: NHTSA
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) spoke to attendees of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) convention Tuesday morning. He is pictured here with NSTA President Donnie Fowler. 
 Photo by Wim Dimmendaal
LaHood speaks at NSTA convention
July 19, 2011
The U.S. transportation secretary addresses attendees, discussing the safety record of school buses and other related issues. Also at the Baltimore event, school bus drivers from across the U.S. and Canada vie for the top spot in three categories during the association's annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition.
Techs earn top honors in Navistar rodeo
July 19, 2011
Tom Marty and Luc Ouellet take home the Top Service Technician awards at the 2011 Navistar Service-Technician Rodeo after going head-to-head with other commercial bus and service technicians in a series of 13 simulations designed to test technical skills and speed.
Tags: IC Bus, roadeo
Report: Bus driver wasn’t wearing seat belt during crash
July 19, 2011
A sheriff's deputy who reviewed a video of the incident in Michigan last month says Eileen Marie Delaney fell from the driver's seat into the entrance well of her bus during a left turn because she was not wearing a seat belt. The bus crashed into a garage, and Delaney suffered minor injuries.
Taxpayers group urges study of merging transportation systems
July 18, 2011
The Taxpayer Association of Martinsville/Henry County in Virginia proposes that the Henry County school board look into merging and privatizing the county and city school transportation systems. An official from the taxpayers group says that the change is needed to become more efficient, and due to declining enrollment.
Student Transportation pilots busing program for magnet school students
July 18, 2011
When a Florida district cut transportation service for several magnet schools, company officials say they were contacted by parents looking for other options. Under the program, which offers a payment plan, parents can register for bus service online and suggest a bus stop for their child.
Discount offered on anti-harassment video training
July 15, 2011
Peggy Burns’ Putting the Brakes on Harassment is aimed at helping school bus drivers recognize and address student-to-student harassment. Through Aug. 31, the program can be ordered at $50 off of the regular price.
Ex-school officials indicted on transportation kickbacks
July 14, 2011
Federal prosecutors allege that a former board member and transportation director in North Chicago took in at least $800,000 over 10 years from school bus contractors, who are also indicted.
Report: Bus driver was 'drowsy' on day of fatal crash
July 14, 2011
Bus driver Kenneth Ross Herringdine, who tested positive following the October 2010 accident for an ingredient found in cough medicine that can cause fatigue, is sentenced to a year of probation and receives a $600 fine for failing to stay in his lane. Students told investigators that on the day of the crash, Herringdine seemed drowsy while operating the bus.
IC Bus and IMMI system allows for retrofit to belted seats
July 14, 2011
The IC Bus BTI Seating System enables users to change from an IC Bus base seat to a SafeGuard three-point belted seat or to an integrated child restraint seat in less than five minutes, according to IC Bus.
Technology firm has school bus market openings
July 13, 2011
The company is looking for sales or business development experts in the school bus market. The positions require individuals with industry contacts, regionally or across the country.
When last month’s flood began to affect the area around Minot (N.D.) Public Schools, employees emptied seven schools, filling school buses, vans and a tractor-trailer with library books and other equipment.
North Dakota operation takes action during massive flood
July 13, 2011
When the water began to affect the area around Minot Public Schools last month, transportation department personnel and other district employees emptied seven schools, transporting books and other supplies and equipment to the transportation facility, which did not sustain damage. Director of Purchasing and Transportation Barry Brooks tells SBF about the experience and discusses the challenges the district faces in the weeks ahead.
Bus inspections on hold during Minnesota shutdown
July 12, 2011
The state government halted at the beginning of July after legislators failed to agree on a new budget. At the Office of Pupil Transportation Safety, Lt. Ed Carroll and the tech sergeants are on duty and will respond to any crashes, but the bus inspectors are not working during the shutdown.
Secure digital card option doubles Rosco recorder capacity
July 12, 2011
Officials say the new 32 GB secure digital card option for the company's Dual-Vision windshield-based recorder increases the length of continuous recording to 30 hours. Prior generation Dual-Vision recorders are suitable for the option, but require a firmware update.
District struggles to break even with fee-for-service busing
July 12, 2011
The transportation department for the Colorado school system has signed up only half of the 3,000 student riders needed to break even with the new program. Students must pay $1 per ride. School board officials say if the operation can't meet its obligations for service, they could consider working with bus companies that bid on the service.
Tags: bus fees
A national survey conducted by state pupil transportation directors this spring found that more than 76,000 vehicles illegally passed school buses in a one-day snapshot. Pictured is a demonstration of illegal passing during an Operation Stop Arm event in North Carolina a few years ago.
Survey confirms 'alarming' number of illegal passes
July 11, 2011
The first national survey of stop-arm running finds that more than 76,000 vehicles illegally passed school buses in a one-day snapshot. NASDPTS President Mike Simmons says that the association, which conducted the survey, hopes that the results will "trigger more safety countermeasures within states and at the national level."

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