The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) released on Thursday updates of two publications: one addressing non-conforming vans and another covering repair and replacement of school bus components.
In the position paper “Non-conforming Vans Used for School Transportation,” which discusses safety and legal liabilities that occur when non-conforming vans are used to transport students to and from school and school-related activities, NASDPTS supports students being transported in school buses instead of full-size vans.
The vans, wrote NASDPTS Executive Director Charlie Hood in a letter to members on Thursday, “do not meet the stringent school bus safety standards for school buses issued by the federal government, individual states, and the school bus specifications recommended by the National Congress on School Transportation.”
The position paper recommends that schools be informed by "state and local student transportation officials, state associations, insurance companies, van manufacturers, automobile dealers, and rental car companies” of regulations that prohibit and advise against the use and purchase of the vans for transporting students.
"Repair or Replacement of Components on School Buses," an information report published by NASDPTS, gives guidance on maintaining safety compliance of school bus components.
The report recommends that when a safety component on a school bus needs to be repaired or replaced, it should be completed so that the component and the system it is a part of perform at least as well as when initially installed on the bus. The report also advises school districts and contractors to set requirements for “inspection, repair, and replacement of school bus components, especially those components that may affect school bus safety."