MAP-21 stands for “Moving Ahead for Progress for the 21st Century.” It was the most recent multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill, and is past due to be reauthorized.
The multi-year surface transportation reauthorization now heads to the House floor. NSTA says that the bill includes several provisions to resolve threats to the private school bus industry.
Deseret Bus Service, which primarily transported children, is halted for repeatedly operating unsafe vehicles and for failing to comply with a federal consent order, FMCSA officials say.
A provision to stop the federal agency from raising insurance minimums for bus operators has survived several challenges in the House.
The FCMSA is considering an increase in the federal minimum insurance requirements for passenger motor carriers. This is a very important issue for school bus contractors, as these requirements could dramatically affect insurance costs.
The legislation, which NSTA supports, would prevent the U.S. secretary of transportation from raising insurance minimums on the school transportation and motorcoach industries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed employing the negotiated rulemaking process to find a solution to its long-proposed concept of entry-level driver training. What is this process, and is it a good thing?
The National School Transportation Association supports the amendment, saying that it would “stop the administration's pursuit of massive increases that would be very damaging to the industry and potentially decrease safety by reducing the availability of school bus service across the nation."
Federal officials say that the clearinghouse would make it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with drug and alcohol regulations. A spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that all employers of CDL holders, including school bus drivers, would have to have programs to satisfy the proposed rule.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes a final rule that extends by one year the requirement for interstate commercial drivers to have paper copies of their medical examiner’s certifications with them while operating their vehicle. However, the deadline for CDL drivers to self-certify their status (interstate or intrastate, exempt or non-exempt) is still Jan. 30, 2014.
The bipartisan bill requires the FMCSA to go through a formal notice and comment rulemaking proceeding when issuing guidance on the screening, testing and treatment of commercial drivers for obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. The National School Transportation Association and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services were among the groups advocating for the legislation.
Many school districts and contractors are employing a variety of vehicles to supplement traditional yellow bus service. These alternative arrangements often cut costs and shorten ride times, but the safety implications of transporting students in taxis, vans and other non-school bus vehicles have become a contentious issue.
The House unanimously passes the bipartisan bill that aims to prevent the FMCSA from issuing guidance on sleep apnea testing for commercial drivers without a formal rulemaking. The state directors association joins NSTA and other groups in advocating for the legislation, which the Senate will now consider.