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Driver fired for falling asleep, crashing bus
March 1, 2012
Investigators determine that Bev Turner fell asleep at the wheel of her bus before it went off the road and down a ditch, eventually striking a concrete structure. Eight students suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Colleagues remember Joe Mirabella as "a mentor to me and many others" and "a giant here in Colorado."
Transportation leader pushed for efficiency, bus ads
February 29, 2012
Joe Mirabella, who died Sunday at 68, co-founded an innovative program to help Colorado's school districts boost transportation efficiency, and he promoted advertising on school buses — a controversial stance. Colleagues remember him as "a mentor to me and many others" and "a giant here in Colorado."
Trans/Air releases educational BTU bulletin
February 29, 2012
The climate control manufacturer says its new bulletin helps bus transportation and maintenance personnel evaluate BTU ratings and use performance pull-down criteria as a critical step in specifying bus air-conditioning systems.
Bonneville County Joint School District 93 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, plans to implement a program wherein adult volunteers will ride on buses to monitor student behavior.
District targets bus bullying with adult monitors
February 29, 2012
Under the effort at Bonneville County Joint School District 93 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, volunteers will ride on some of the district’s buses, taking note of inappropriate behavior. Guy Bliesner, health, safety and security coordinator for the district, tells SBF that the volunteers will also distribute “bus bucks” — which can be redeemed for prizes — to students who behave well.
Tags: bullying
Camera system captures stop-arm violations
February 29, 2012
The camera system from Redflex Traffic Systems’ Student Guardian solution is installed on the front and rear driver's side of a school bus. It monitors traffic while the bus' stop arm is displayed, and data supporting possible violations, including video and images of license plates and drivers, is submitted to local law enforcement.
The commercial bus version of the Saf-T-Liner C2 does not have school bus guard rails, and it features panoramic, solid pane windows and optional coach-style recliner seating.
Thomas Built updates Type C unit for commercial bus use
February 28, 2012
The manufacturer introduces a new version of its Saf-T-Liner C2 bus design that officials say is well suited for long distance commuting, tour operators, city buses, university transit, shuttle buses, church groups and sports teams. The bus does not have school bus guard rails, and it features panoramic, solid pane windows and optional coach-style recliner seating.
After bus fire, N.C. districts check for wiring issues
February 28, 2012
No one was injured in the Feb. 8 school bus fire, in which worn wire coverings were found to be a likely cause. State officials direct school transportation departments to perform special inspections to help prevent any further incidents.
Bus in fatal N.J. crash ‘inched past’ stop sign, NTSB says
February 28, 2012
The agency’s ongoing investigation into the Feb. 16 accident involving a school bus and a dump truck reveals that the bus reportedly went past the stop sign because of bad sight lines. Investigators have found that at some locations at the intersection where the crash occurred, the line of sight was obstructed due to “environmental features,” and NTSB’s chief investigator says that possible improvements are being studied.
Calif. bill would allow exterior school bus ads
February 28, 2012
Senate Bill 1295 would enable school districts to choose whether to sell ad space on the exterior of buses, and choose how to spend any revenue raised. The state currently allows ads inside buses.
Photo by John Horton
Ads to be placed inside buses at Pa. district
February 27, 2012
The Parkland School District says it has the potential to generate about $150,000 in a year by selling 16 ad spaces inside a pilot fleet of 46 school buses. The signs will be made of a magnetic material and secured just above the bus windows.
SAE International to hold alternative-fuel symposium
February 24, 2012
The free online event in March is intended to help pupil transportation personnel make informed decisions about the pros and cons of converting their buses to hybrid-electric, propane or compressed natural gas technology. It will include supplier and peer-to-peer presentations, panel discussions and technology exhibits.
REI, Velvac offer integrated surveillance system
February 24, 2012
The solution combines REI’s BUS-WATCH mobile video surveillance system and Velvac’s camera-based Vision systems. Officials say it is designed to improve driver and passenger safety by enabling users to record more viewing angles around a vehicle.
First Student honored for hiring military vets
February 24, 2012
The school bus contractor receives a Flag of Freedom Award as part of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s “Show-Me Heroes” initiative. Since the initiative began in 2010, officials say First Student has welcomed veterans returning from overseas into the ranks at locations in Columbia, Parkville, Kansas City and St. Joseph.
School bus fuel tax exemption preserved
February 23, 2012
Repeal of the exemption was under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. The National School Transportation Association called on committee members to defend against the effort, which association officials said “would have been tantamount to imposing a tax increase on private school bus transportation providers.”
Tags: NSTA, taxes
Bus strikes 3 teens in crosswalk
February 23, 2012
The driver is placed on paid leave after his bus hits the middle school students just after classes let out on Tuesday. Police say he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Thomas Built Buses seeks ‘Driver of the Year’
February 23, 2012
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to submit essays nominating their favorite school bus drivers for the manufacturer’s seventh annual Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essay contest. Entries must be postmarked by June 30.
N.C. bus driver wins $283K jackpot
February 23, 2012
Audrey Childers, a school bus driver and substitute teacher from Mount Holly, wins $283,484 in the Carolina Cash 5 lottery. Childers says she will use her winnings to purchase a house.
First Student President Linda Burtwistle says that school districts are having to do more with less, which challenges the company to help them run even more efficiently.
Burtwistle: District funding pressures not expected to ease
February 23, 2012
As president of the largest school bus contractor in the U.S. and Canada, First Student’s Linda Burtwistle has a keen perspective on the range of issues impacting the pupil transportation industry. She recently shared her insights with SBF Executive Editor Thomas McMahon.
Carey Paster joins National Express Corp.
February 22, 2012
The school bus contracting veteran has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president of mergers and acquisitions, where he will be responsible for furthering National Express’ presence in the passenger transportation market. Paster previously held roles with FirstGroup America and First Student.
Electric school buses to be manufactured for China
February 22, 2012
Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. signs a letter of intent with Wanxiang Group that includes a joint venture investment of up to $75 million to develop, manufacture and commercialize all-electric school buses and commercial vehicles for multiple industries in the country. The vehicles will combine Wanxiang’s EV componentry technologies with Smith’s proprietary platform vehicle designs.

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