Introduced by California State Senator Tony Mendoza, the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law was developed after the death of a 19-year-old special needs student who was left on a school bus during a dangerously hot day. This new school bus safety law, scheduled to go into effect prior to the 2018-2019 school year, will require child reminder systems to be installed on all California school buses.
Autism is a term frequently used to describe a group of neuro-developmental disorders. Students on the autism spectrum generally experience challenges related to communication, social interaction and restrictive or repetitive interests or behaviors. These special needs students may also have additional needs due to medical issues, anxiety, sensory sensitivity and differences in coordination or muscle tone. Transporting students on the autism spectrum takes thorough advance planning and special accommodations.
School bus drivers have a tremendous responsibility. They are, after all, transporting precious cargo. Not only do they need to possess the skills to operate a large vehicle safely, they also need behavior management, problem solving, and risk management knowledge. In Texas, school bus drivers must complete specific training, be issued a commercial driving license, and those who operate certain school buses are also required to have their driving records reviewed by their employer each year.
In recent years, many school districts have experienced an uptick in the amount of requests to transport service animals. In fact, some states now require this service by law. There are many reasons that a student may work with a service animal, usually a dog. These special animals help those with visual impairment, help to alert a student that they have a low or high blood sugar level, are about to have a seizure and even provide comfort during an anxiety attack.
Student bus transportation technology has advanced tremendously over the past several years. Today, transportation professionals are relying on Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to increase efficiency and manage their programs with ease. Here are 5 of the benefits of GIS routing for student bus transportation.
To outsource or not to outsource? For decades, this has been a pressing question which student bus transportation coordinators have wrestled with.
A recent study by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy looked at outsourcing by school districts in several states, including Pennsylvania. They found some interesting distinctions that made Pennsylvania a special case for school bus contracting:
State laws regarding school transportation and required school bus safety procedures vary vastly from state to state. Until just last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended against the use of seatbelts on school buses. Now they suggest the use of lap and shoulder belts. Florida is one of the states that now requires seatbelts on school buses.
The subject of child safety restraint systems such as seat belts on school buses has been hotly debated for many years. Properly installed child safety restraint systems keep small children restrained in their seats during bus travel. They can come installed in school buses from the factory, or added to buses at a later time. Though there is no federal mandate, many individual school districts and states are choosing to install these safety tools on their buses. So, when and why, would you install safety restraint systems on your district’s buses?
When school budgets are tight, many districts turn to their transportation departments to cut costs. There are many ways to save money, when it comes to school bus fleets. Switching to alternative fuels, minimizing field trip transportation and contracting out services are all frequently used tactics. While all of these options can save cash, maximizing efficiency through fleet optimization remains one of the best options for achieving financial stability.
As technology advances, many school districts are incorporating state-of-the-art safety equipment into their transportation programs. This means that along with keeping buses in good working order, many school bus maintenance departments must now consider integrated systems. When developing your school bus maintenance plan, don’t forget to include your video systems. Just like any other piece of electrical equipment, regular maintenance will help keep cameras working well and extend their lives.