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Improve School Bus Safety By Taking Proactive Measures Against Stop Arm Violators

 There are numerous threats to school bus safety any time a bus is on the road, but it's hard to argue against stop arm violators being the biggest threat. Every time a motorist ignores a stop arm, student lives are put at risk. This is not an uncommon occurrence: According to multiple governmental surveys, stop arm violations occur millions of times per year. 

Four Tips for Stop Arm Camera Success

School districts around the nation are exploring use of stop arm cameras as a way to deter unsafe driving near their buses. However, a stop arm camera by itself won't stop bad drivers. BusBoss has some tips to help ensure the success of your camera initiative.

School Bus Fleet: Proper Tire Choice & Maintenance

Are the tires on your school bus fleet helping or harming your efforts to run a safe, cost-effective bus system? Despite seeming like a relatively minor choice, the kind of tires on your buses can have a lot of impact on both safety and performance. Likewise, proper care and maintenance of the tires can help keep safety standards high, while reducing long-term costs.

Here are a few tips we've picked up over the years.

National Survey Shares Challenges of School Bus Safety

One difficulty when talking about school transportation management, and school bus safety, is getting a handle on the big picture. Discussions of district transportation systems are often filled with anecdotal evidence, relatively few studies trying to look at the situation on a nationwide basis. That's why it was so refreshing to see the recent study conducted by Transportation Services Co. (TSC).

The study was distributed to over 1,600 districts around the country, and over 300 were returned - a very high sample size, for a voluntary survey like this. However, that allowed TSC to construct a detailed picture of the challenges facing school bus safety programs.

Here are some of the more interesting findings.

Five Ways a School Bus Tracking App Can Help in an Emergency

Whenever the news reports on a major incident involving a school bus, it's hard not to think "What if that happened to us?" News of a bus emergency is excellent for reflecting on the district's own training and response policies. Would the bus driver know how to handle the situation on their own? How long would it even take for the transportation office to know there was a problem at all?

Who Is Responsible for School Bus Safety?

Who is responsible for school bus safety in a district? On the balance, the only rational answer to the question is "everyone." Whenever some sort of safety incident occurs, there can be a lot of finger-pointing - but at the end of the day, protecting children should be everyone's business. It's not something that can be partitioned.

PBS Documentary Asks Questions About School Bus Safety

When it comes to school bus safety, there is probably no more divisive issue than the question of whether seat belts should be mandated for school buses. After all, belts have been required in other pedestrian vehicles like cars and pickups for fifty years - but they have never been mandated in school buses. Should they be?

This is the question discussed in a new documentary funded by Montana's Public Broadcasting System, called "Safe Enough?" The new hour-long film is creating quite a stir and has already begun to win regional awards. Many are already beginning to wonder if it will tilt the conversation in favor of mandated seat belts.

NTSB Calls for School Bus Fire Suppression Systems

In December of 2017, a truly horrific school bus accident occurred in Oakland, Iowa. A fire broke out in the engine compartment of a bus, sending dangerous fumes into the bus interior, and ultimately taking the lives of both the driver and a 16-year-old student.

After more than a year of investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a series of recommendations to improve school bus safety - and these are raising some eyebrows across the education sector. Their own report had 10 separate recommendations, but let's focus on the three most impactful.

School Bus Safety Legislation Considered by Congress

On May 17, 2018, a horrific collision occurred between a school bus and a dump truck on a New Jersey highway. It left two dead, including 10-year-old Miranda Vargas, as well as injuring everyone on the bus as well as the driver of the dump truck. Video footage showed the driver of the school bus had driven erratically, taking the bus across lanes at such an extreme angle that it was nearly perpendicular to the road. This is what caused the dump truck to hit it.

School District Settles After Biracial Student Dragged by School Bus

Most of the time, when a bus driver does something that endangers students, it's due to poor judgement. Occasionally, however, it can be malicious - as we saw earlier this year in Farmington, Utah. In a deeply disturbing incident, a 14-year-old biracial child was dragged by the bus for approximately 175 feet, after the 78-year-old driver closed the door on his backpack, trapping him outside.

 

 

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