WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) are gathering at the nation’s capital on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with federal legislators and advocate for the school transportation industry.
The two-day event is NSTA’s annual Capitol Hill Bus-In. More than 50 association members will participate in over 120 individual meetings in congressional offices.
NSTA members anticipate this event as it is a prime opportunity to provide a voice to the industry, according to the association.
“This event is crucial to NSTA's government relations efforts,” said NSTA President Blake Krapf. “Advocating for our members is at the core of our mission, and helping Washington, D.C., understand and recognize the issues that face our industry and our communities is vital in the success of that mission. We look forward to joining our fellow members on the Hill this week.”
NSTA and its government relations firm, Prime Policy Group, worked to identify a key issue facing school transportation to take to Washington, D.C., and agreed that recent tragedies involving motorists illegally passing stopped school buses need federal attention and support.
The NSTA said it is bringing awareness to the dangers of illegal passing in an effort to prevent future occurrences and garner support for legislation introduced by U.S. Congressional Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Rep. Brownley (D-CA) on April 10, “Stop for School Buses Act of 2019” or “STOP Act,” (HR 2218).
The “STOP Act” calls upon the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a comprehensive review of state laws and enforcement levels, technology, and driver education materials and study the landscape of illegal passing and, based on their findings, recommend best practices to Congress. The bill also directs the DOT to create a public safety messaging campaign.
The NSTA added that it is working with several Senate offices to get a companion measure introduced in the Senate.
“It’s really great to see our members — especially our new members — come and enjoy themselves, and see firsthand the power they lend to our association’s voice in Washington, D.C.,” said John Benish, NSTA’s president elect. “The Bus-In is a great opportunity to share information with our elected officials about the private school bus contracting community and how their support can help ensure the continued safe transport of children to and from school.”