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New Ill. law targets bus driver drug, alcohol testing
December 28, 2011
Under legislation that will take effect Jan. 1, school bus operations can test drivers for alcohol or drugs if the driver is suspected of using such substances. If a driver refuses to submit to a test or fails it, the law requires the driver's school bus permit to be suspended for three years.
Students to undergo weigh-ins, measuring for bus securement rule
December 28, 2011
Under a provincial regulation in Nova Scotia, children who are under age 9 and are smaller than 4 feet 9 inches and 40 pounds must be secured in a child restraint system on their school bus. Schools in Halifax will begin weighing and measuring elementary school students next month.
School bus driver Dennis Stricker asks his passengers a trivia question each morning, and they search for the answer during the day and report back on the ride home.
Bus driver starts students’ day with trivia
December 28, 2011
Minnesota school bus driver Dennis Stricker asks his passengers a trivia question each morning, and they search for the answer during the day and report back on the ride home. Stricker is honored for his contributions to student achievement.
Rotary updates parallelogram wash bay lift package
December 28, 2011
Officials say the package has been updated to maximize bay space and product life. Any of the company's parallelogram lifts can be ordered with the new package.
IMMI crash test facility honored for safety systems
December 28, 2011
The Center for Advanced Product Evaluation is named the 2011 Crash Test Facility of the Year by Automotive Testing Technology International magazine. Officials say the center was selected for its development of safety systems for commercial vehicles, its investment in supporting testing equipment and its role in helping IMMI bring its RollTek rollover accident injury mitigation system to fire apparatus OEMs.
Bus driver arranges trip to Christmas tree fest
December 22, 2011
Lufkin Independent School District bus driver Robert Hunt arranges a field trip to the Museum of East Texas' Festival of Trees for the kids on his bus after he sees it on television. Hunt says he wanted to give the students, who are mostly from low-income areas, a Christmas gift.
Thomas Built expands Canadian dealer’s area
December 22, 2011
The school bus manufacturer increases the area of responsibility for Warner Bus Industries from the 251,366-square-mile province of Saskatchewan to also include the 250,946-square-mile province of Manitoba. Warner Bus will serve its Manitoba customers using fully equipped "Warranty on Wheels" trucks.
Driver training aims to boost fuel economy
December 21, 2011
Officials with EcoCargo Training say their approach teaches drivers how to cut their fuel costs without increasing drive time. The method has reportedly been taught for more than a decade in Europe and South America, and now school and transit bus drivers in the U.S. are taking part in a pilot program.
Petition seeks funding for bus driver distraction study
December 20, 2011
The petition urges the Obama Administration to fund the proposed Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Center for Truck and Bus Safety study. Data collected from school bus drivers would be analyzed to determine distraction sources and their association with crashes, near-crashes and crash-relevant conflicts.
A new report found that 13 states allow advertising on the inside and/or outside of school buses. Pictured is a Houston Independent School District bus with a college ad.
Report sheds light on bus fee, ad rules
December 20, 2011
Twelve states allow — and one state mandates — school districts to charge fees for home-to-school transportation, according to a report from the Florida Legislature’s research arm that examines revenue generation. Thirteen states allow advertising on the inside and/or outside of school buses.
Antenna detects cell phone use in vehicles
December 20, 2011
The offering from inthinc Technology Solutions Inc. can decipher various cell wave frequencies, including phone calls, text messages and e-mails emitted from the driver’s seat. Fleet managers can adjust the settings to either send an in-cab voice alert to drivers when a cell signal is detected, or report the violation to the manager via e-mail or text alert.
STA offers discount on magnet bus service
December 19, 2011
The contractor offers the discount on its SchoolWheels program to families in Jacksonville, Fla., whose children attend magnet schools within Duval County Public Schools. The discount price applies for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year and comes to $5.48 per day, or $559 total.
Thomas Built to up production, recall 125 workers
December 19, 2011
The school bus manufacturer will recall the workers in early 2012. The upcoming increases to production levels and staffing come in response to "strong customer interest in the company's C2 school bus products," officials say.
N.D. troopers partner with schools to promote bus safety
December 19, 2011
The North Dakota Highway Patrol's "Trooper on a Bus" program is designed to enhance the enforcement of traffic laws and increase public awareness of the dangers of illegal bus passing. Starting Wednesday, troopers will ride along on school buses to observe motorists' activities, radioing in any information about drivers who fail to stop for buses when children are boarding and disembarking.
Bus driver honored for actions during chain-reaction crash
December 19, 2011
Ricky Graves maneuvers his bus to the right, avoiding a pickup truck coming toward him, and is able to bring his bus to a safe stop. While cars crash all around the bus, Graves keeps the students on board calm.
A compressed natural gas system will be available as an option on several Collins Type A models starting in spring 2012.
Collins to build CNG buses
December 19, 2011
The Type A manufacturer partners with BAF to develop the first Type A school bus with a compressed natural gas fuel system. The option will be available on several Collins models starting in spring 2012.
Researchers engineer E. coli to make fuels
December 15, 2011
Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered the first strains of the bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into advanced biofuels to replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. The microbes are reportedly able to do this without enzyme additives.
District responds to rumor of bus driver smoking, drinking on the job
December 15, 2011
Vernon (N.J.) Township School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. John B. Alfieri says that parents and students reported that the driver, who works for a bus company, engaged in this activity while transporting children, but surveillance tapes from the bus show it not to be true. However, Alfieri says that on one occasion the driver smoked a cigarette after children were dismissed, which will not be tolerated.
Students take over bus ad sales at Tenn. district
December 15, 2011
Mason Kalada and Nathan Dearman, seniors at a Sumner County Schools high school, make sales calls and presentations to businesses about the benefits of advertising on school buses. The program has raised nearly $25,000 since September.
The 2011 total of North American school bus sales is down 39 percent from the peak in 2006.
School bus sales drop 6.8 percent
December 15, 2011
SBF research finds that North American school bus sales in 2011 decreased for the fifth year in a row. The latest total is down 39 percent from the peak in 2006.

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