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School Bus Safety Tips for Icy, Snowy Weather

School bus safety is critical at all times of the year, but it's particularly crucial during the winter months. Snowy weather and icy roads present some of the biggest dangers a bus and its passengers can face, yet your drivers will be called on to drive in inclement weather day after day.

If you're looking for new ideas to help make these trips even safer, we've got plenty of tips.

Texas Department of Public Safety Addresses Overcrowded School Buses

Here's a school bus safety violation that shouldn't happen, yet it does with surprising frequency: running buses that are overcrowded. In Texas, for example, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) was forced to step in and issue public advisories, due to receiving too many complaints of buses running with too many children onboard.

School Bus Seat Belts: Implementation Strategies

Going into 2020, there are now nine states that openly mandate school bus seat belts within their school districts, and two others offering grants or other incentives.  Numerous other states are debating the issue. While not truly decided yet, it seems that the seat belt discussion has reached a tipping point.

Ohio School Bus Safety Act Seeks Fines, Penalties, and Stop Arm Cameras

Without a doubt, one of the most serious threats to school bus safety is the problem of other drivers ignoring the stop arm. Every time a car blows by the stop-arm sign, they endanger students who are getting on and off the bus, with injuries or deaths occurring every year. Statistics show that there are tens of thousands of such violations every day, and each has the potential to be deadly.  

So, states are seeking solutions, passing laws to try to curb this rampant issue. Ohio has become the latest, with a bill simply called the School Bus Safety Act (SB-134). However, its impact could be far-ranging across the state, and potentially a model for legislation to come - if it passes. 

Better School Bus Crash Reporting Procedures Can Make A Difficult Time Much Easier

While school buses are overwhelmingly safe for passengers, accidents do happen.  No district or driver likes to think about the possibility of being in an accident, even a non-fatal one. However, when thousands of collisions involving a school bus happen every year, odds are that it will happen to many drivers during their career.

The actions of the driver and district immediately following the accident are crucial, because they will set the tone for the investigation that follows. Poor school bus crash reporting policies can increase the likelihood of lawsuits, or criminal prosecution, while good reporting policies can help protect everyone involved.

Cleveland Students Petition for School Bus Seatbelts

At this point, it's become commonplace to hear stories of cities and districts deciding to budget for school bus seat belts - but here's a story with a twist. The city council of Beachwood City, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, recently purchased two new belt-equipped buses, along with retrofits of their existing buses, to the tune of $250,000. They were, in fact, the first district in Ohio to do so.

Why?  Because the children asked for it!

Senator Schumer Seeks School Bus Stop Arm Camera Report

Right now, few issues are as contentious in the school bus industry than the topic of school bus stop-arm cameras. The issue of motorists illegally passing stopped buses is undoubtedly a major problem, with millions of violations across the country every school year. However, whether stop-arm cameras are the right solution to this problem is more contentious.

Senator Charles "Chuck" Schumer (D-NY) is concerned about the issue, and ultimately believes it should become a federal matter - that the federal government should pass blanket laws allowing school bus stop-arm cameras, rather than leaving it to the states. He made this clear in a recent press release, where he called upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to release more data on the topic.

Tennessee School Bus Driver Uses Phone Behind the Wheel

When a parent allows their child to ride a bus, there's a lot of trust involved. They need to believe that the driver is going to protect the students, and consider school bus safety to be their top priority. Unfortunately, this is not always the case - as we see in a recent incident in which a Tennessee driver was caught texting-and-driving multiple days in a row.

Tough polices have already ensured that the driver is no longer behind the wheel, but it suggests a problem that still has yet to be fully solved.

InterMotive Vehicle Controls Announces Seatbelt Warning System

Usage of school bus seat belts is growing across the country, with six states already mandating their installation, and several others contemplating similar laws. Along with helping to keep children safe during accidents, there is also growing evidence that belts can significantly improve student behavior any time they ride. This makes a very compelling argument for belts on buses.

However, there has been one major sticking point for many: how is the bus driver supposed to police usage of the belts, especially once the route has begun? An interesting new technology from the company Intermotive called Safe-T-Seat wants to make it easier.

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. 

 

 

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