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New York May Levy Steeper Stop-Arm Fines - But Is That The Right Approach?

 When drivers endanger school bus riders thousands of times every day by ignoring stop-arm signals, it’s clearly a problem that needs solving. But how?

One of the more common solutions being adopted is the use of stop-arm cameras, which work in roughly the same fashion as traffic light cameras. The camera attempts to capture the license plate of anyone speeding by a stopped bus, and the resulting stop-arm fines are mailed to the offending driver’s address on record.

Using Bonuses to Attract School Bus Drivers: 5 Tips

The current school bus driver shortage shows no signs of abating. In fact, if more states follow Tennessee's lead and start imposing stricter requirements on school bus drivers, that could actually make the recruitment-and-retention problem worse. It's a difficult situation with no easy answers since, of course, no district wants to hire unqualified drivers... but sometimes it's hard to find any drivers at all.

Fixing Holes in School Bus Safety

Staying on top of school bus safety is a never-ending challenge for any district transportation coordinator. There are plenty of ways that a school bus and its routes can be made safer, and never quite enough time to address them all. Undoubtedly, any bus safety plan has some "holes" in it, or areas which aren't as secure as one might like.

This will vary substantially from district to district, but there are still some common holes we see in our own consulting work. Let's talk about some of them.

Training School Bus Drivers for City Driving: Five Tips

As difficult and frustrating as city driving can be in an automobile, the problems are multiplied when driving a school bus. Buses can be up to 45 feet long, which makes maneuvering them around city corners a real challenge. Plus, with a full load of passengers on board, it’s easy for school bus drivers to become stressed out, which can diminish their effectiveness in an emergency.

The challenges your drivers face are going to be largely particular to your city. However, with proper training, there are certain strategies which will help mitigate the chances of problems while on city streets.

More Stringent Requirements for TN School Bus Drivers

On November 21, 2016, a true tragedy occurred in Tennessee. A 24-year-old school bus driver with a history of speeding was involved in a school bus crash that killed six students and injured over a dozen more. In response, the state of Tennessee enacted House Bill 322 regulating school transportation systems and school bus drivers, which are now among the most strict in the nation.

Many applaud the new laws; others fear they go too far. Let’s take a look.

Intelligent School Bus Seating - The Future Of School Bus Safety?

 In a perfect world, cost wouldn't be an issue when it comes to school bus safety. School buses would be outfitted with the latest in safety features to ensure the highest possible rates of safety and accident survivability. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. Most districts strike a balance between having high levels of safety without having excessive costs with a lot of debates over how to achieve that balance.

School bus seating is often at the center of this discussion. How do we make school bus seats safer? Are seat belts actually effective or worth the cost? People have been going back and forth on that for decades. However, new technologies could substantially change the debate.

School Bus Safety: Solving the Stranded-Student Problem

 If you follow school bus safety news at all, it’s hard to avoid headlines about students being accidentally left behind on buses. It happens several times a year, at a minimum, and always causes concern. Sometimes the police are involved. Sometimes, careers are ruined for that one mistake alone.

School Bus Tracking Can Bring Peace of Mind to Parents

Everyone says, “Think of the children!” when it comes to school bus tracking, but perhaps we should be saying, “Think of the parents!” instead. Discussions about bus tracking tend to revolve around the many safety benefits that tracking brings to students, or the various ways tracking can improve and streamline district operations. However, one aspect is often overlooked: the benefits that bus tracking systems can bring to parents.

These can be particularly helpful to know, if you’re in a position of arguing in favor of embracing tracking systems in your district. When you’re standing in front of the school board or PTA, being able to talk about how tracking systems will benefit them directly is going to help your case!

Ramping Up Accessibility With Low-Floor School Buses

School bus accessibility is a major concern among school districts who find themselves with one or more mobility-impaired students. Legally, in nearly all cases, they are required to provide necessary accommodations for riding the bus. But, those accommodations can be extremely expensive to implement, particularly if a wheelchair lift needs to be installed.

Worse, once that student moves or graduates, it could be years before the lift is ever used again, making it a massive sunk cost with no foreseeable returns.

GPS Trackers Versus Bluetooth Trackers: The Major Differences

 There’s a lot of new high-tech devices being used in schools, and it’s easy to get confused about what they do, particularly when they seem to be similar products. So it’s not surprising that we get a lot of questions about GPS trackers versus Bluetooth trackers and what sets them apart.

In fact, pretty much the only thing the two technologies have in common is that they’re radio-based tracking devices. Otherwise, they have very different purposes and goals. Let’s explain:

 

 

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