As 2014 winds down, we would like to share this year’s SBF blog posts that sparked the most debate and fueled spirited discussions in our comments section for some time afterward. Popular topics included seat belts, the term "bleeding yellow," and  favorite school buses. Here are the six most commented-on posts along with highlights from the comments.

1.     “Compartmentalization Plus,” April 1 (35 comments)

“Not too long ago, many argued that due to school bus seating compartmentalization, seat belts were not needed. Thankfully we are now talking about taking the use of seat belts to another level. As a school bus fleet operator our drivers’ biggest challenge is to have seat belts used and remain buckled for the duration of a trip. A lap-shoulder belt system may aid us in our video review by helping to pick out students that are not using them. We are all for taking school bus safety to a higher level. What's next?” — Rich Passero

“The government and media seem to be concentrating on the crash test as the measure of the effectiveness, safety and reason for belts on buses. Not once have I seen anyone including a fire safety test, for effectiveness and safety of seat belts on school buses. We have children, not adults on school buses; they can't be expected to remain calm and cool as their bus is catching fire to evacuate in under 2 minutes.” — Michelle

2.    “14 signs and symptoms of ‘bleeding yellow,’” Nov. 7 (28 comments)

“Excellent description of the valuable people who are the backbone of the school bus operation, and who go 'the extra mile' every day, whatever the crisis. I'm a Brit, and only had about 4 years working with school buses in the US and Canada, but it's in my blood and DNA now. In a long career, I met the best people, and had the most enjoyable and rewarding bus job I have had anywhere!” — John Ashmore

3.    “What’s your favorite school bus?”, Jan 24 (24 comments)

“My favorite buses are the ones I never see in the shop except for routine maintenance work.” — Richard Skibitski

“By far my favorite school bus is a Crown with a big cam Cummins backed up to a ten speed Road Ranger. The Crown was hand built with class 8 truck components and in their day no one had service support to come near Crown Coach. Life cycle costs of a Crown was always less than their 'competition,' but initial cost differences became hard sells to school boards. With proper care, Crown was a thirty year bus.” — Jim Gannon

4.    “How do you deal with driver shortage?”, Sept. 12 (13 comments)

"I have been in the field for almost 21 years and I see this as the real issue. We get [drivers] trained and they move on to bigger and better opportunities. It is really disturbing that most of our drivers are not looked at as professionals, but rather ‘just bus drivers.’ The general public has no idea of how much these drivers do. They not only drive the bus, they counsel the kids, they are disciplinarians, they are nurses, they are role models, they are a really important part of the schooling experience and should be respected and paid as such!” — Kriss

And, two more posts that received 13 comments:

5.    “Cars backing up after running a stop-arm?”, May 9 (13 comments)

“When I drove regularly, I had this happen about once per school year. It is something that drivers do bring up occasionally amongst one another, but feel that nothing can be done about it so they don't bring it to management or law enforcement. If they do bring it up, it is with a disclaimer that 'they know nothing can be done.'" — Nicole Baker

6.     "Districts are in the transportation business,” April 25 (13 comments)

“A much needed subject! … Schools are about education-not transportation. Schools that own, control and provide transportation for its students generally lack in practical experience/knowledge. Private carriers is the better answer in that it deals with transportation in particular and avoids the politics and personal agendas so often found in 'board' run transportation departments. To see the needed changes, parents & taxpayers must get involved in the decision making process. It's our money, our children and they do work for us!” — AL

“As a Transportation Manager all I can say you are preaching to the choir. School bus transportation touches all areas of the education process. We have an effect on attendance, safety, we are even sometimes the only contact some parents have with the school system. School bus drivers are responsible for the safety and care of the children placed in their charge and most take great pride in what they do.” — Charles Glenn