Riverside Community School District agrees to the settlement with the family of 16-year-old student who died in a 2017 school bus fire.
Regulatory analysis is not usually an activity that gets much attention from the general public. We are on constant guard when it comes to regulatory issues; as we know, the yellow bus is a constant target. For purposes of this conversation, understand that our legislative activity comes in the form of lobbying members of Congress to support or oppose a piece of pending legislation. Having myself testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in July, I fully acknowledge the difference between regulatory and legislative activity.
That is why I am highlighting our work on commenting on pending rules and regulations being considered by federal departments and agencies. Our comments help shape the landscape of pupil transportation in all fleets in the U.S., even if they are far removed from the spotlight of our nation’s Capital.
Last year alone, NSTA sent comments to regulators on 12 separate occasions. For example, we filed comments with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding the implementation of Commercial Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems (ADS).
That particular rulemaking process recognized the vital stake that school transportation has when it comes to the integration of ADS into our school buses. As such, NSTA focused on educating regulators on the importance of other automated vehicles being able to detect the unique stopping patterns of a school bus. We also pointed out that precautions must be taken to ensure automated systems are not vulnerable to cyber security threats. Finally, NSTA stood firm on its position that regardless of the ultimate level of automation a school bus employs, a human “driver” must always be present on a school bus.
NSTA also filed comments with federal regulators in support of reducing Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) testing barriers by allowing drivers to take knowledge tests in another state, as well as supporting the FMCSA’s proposal to increase the “on-duty” hours of service for short-haul commercial drivers (i.e. school bus drivers).
Finally, NSTA submitted other comments to FMCSA supporting their proposal to identify non-preventable crashes on an operator’s Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) prioritization algorithm and making the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program permanent. We previously submitted comments in July 2015 regarding non-preventable crashes and urged FMCSA to address the issue of crash preventability as it places an undue regulatory burden on carriers, and severely affects their Safety Management System percentile rankings.
Those involved with pupil transportation know that impeccable safety rankings are not the exception, but rather the standard for school transportation operators. NSTA sought to emphasize to FMCSA that removing non-preventable crashes from a school bus contractor’s ranking was simply an issue of fundamental fairness.
We continue to advance in many ways the interests of school transportation through our advocacy efforts. While you may not see them being boasted about on social media or as a trending story in the news, understand that they have a cumulative impact in supporting private school bus contractors.
“Driven to Learn,” written by Albin J. Weiler, details his experiences and those of his fellow drivers behind the wheel and includes pupil transportation lessons and tips.
Ann Kania, a driver for We Transport Inc., faced several challenges throughout her career, but says the safety of students was her number-one priority.
The feature is available on all versions of the school bus manufacturer’s Saf-T-Liner C2 and allows the front entry doors to reopen automatically if they sense an object or obstruction in the doorway.
Katrina Self of Ohio is recognized with a plaque for putting her training to good use by reviving the child of a parent on her route.
Carson Fulcher, an Iowa high school student, is reported for a stop-arm violation. As part of his community service, he creates a video that educates on stopping for stopped buses.
The school transportation provider secures a five-year contract to operate 117 routes for Boise School District.
An Iowa high school student who illegally passed a school bus created a video as part of his community service detailing how to drive safely around school buses to help others.
The funding will be used to expand HopSkipDrive's operations, which provide customized transportation service to children. The company also launches its service in Las Vegas.
Logan Bus Co. is working with electric vehicle charging solutions provider Amply Power to convert the buses to electric and put them on the road in September 2020.
SB20-052 would create a student tracking and parent notification system, educate the public about school bus safety, recruit school bus drivers, and provide funding for safety initiatives.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will research the feasibility of offering free transportation to all students countywide.
Dynamic Specialty Vehicles is now the certified Blue Bird dealer for the entire province of Alberta.
This year’s event was held at two Orange County Public Schools locations on Feb. 4.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officially delays the deadline for the final rule "Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators" from Feb. 7, 2020, to Feb. 7, 2022. The agency released the official notice on Feb. 4.
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