News

Nationwide school bus driver shortage causing difficulties for some metro districts

BY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The people who help your kids get to school are running in short supply. Park Hill School District’s bus driver shortage is so bad, it's now forced to cut and consolidate some routes.

Bright yellow buses are a familiar sight outside schools. But in Park Hill, there aren’t enough drivers to get the job done.

“It became critical last week,” said Paul Kelly, Park Hill Schools' business and technology assistant superintendent.

Over the weekend, district leaders were scrambling to find the best quick fix to a crippling driver shortage. Those discussions resulted in seven routes being eliminated. Hundreds of kids were shuffled to other bus routes, tweaking pick-up and drop-off times by a few minutes. Read More

BLUE BIRD EXTENDS ALLISON 7-YEAR EXTENDED WARRANTY INTO 2018

Written by , Published in Industry Releases

FORT VALLEY, GA — Blue Bird, North America’s leading school bus manufacturer, announced that as of January 1st they will continue to offer the industry’s best warranty for their Allison Transmission equipped diesel buses in 2018. The warranty coverage – which includes 7 years, unlimited miles – was also offered in 2017, and is applicable to all Blue Bird buses using the Allison Transmission 2500 and 2550 Pupil Transportation Series™ models. These Allison transmissions carry a comprehensive warranty, which covers 100% of parts and labor.

“The continuation of this extended warranty adds even more value to our bus offerings,” says Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corporation. “A standard extended warranty on a reliable transmission, such as Allison, adds to the reliability of our buses, which transport our most precious cargo every day.”

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Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Training

Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Training Tuesday, May 22 through Friday, May 25, 2018

8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Cortland Regional Training Center 3557 Terrace Road, Cortland NY 13045 (behind Cortlandville Fire Station)

“Sponsored in part by a grant from Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Cortland County Health Department.

Deadline for registration is May 18, 2018

Class size is limited to 25

There is an $85 fee for the initial two‐year certification payable when you register online. Recertification is every two years thereafter.

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Tougher fines for people passing a school bus with red flashing lights?

ED REILLY

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) - There continues to be a statewide problem with drivers going past school buses that have stopped with red flashing lights.  It is such a concern that Governor Cuomo is asking lawmakers to increase penalties.

Distracted driving is one reason that is suspected for the on-going problem.

Police across the state try to drive home the danger it poses to children as part of a law enforcement initiative named "Operation Safe Stop."  On April 27, 2017, Operation Safe Stop resulted in police issuing over 1,037 tickets for drivers who failed to stop for a school bus that was either loading or unloading students. (2.964 tickets were issued for other moving violations during the same sting operation.) Read More

Parents, drivers weigh in on school bus seat-belts

PLATTSBURGH — Amy Coughlin Rugar had to battle to see her first-grader buckled up on the school bus.

“I find it absurd that if I had my son unbuckled in my personal vehicle, I would get a ticket,” she posted on the Press-Republican’s Facebook page.

“However, you place that same child on a school bus and no one forces them to buckle their seat belt.”

Rugar insisted that her son be buckled up; she said she wrote a letter to the bus driver, and when that didn’t work, she went to the school principal.

“We eventually resolved the issue but not without much insistence on my part,” she said.

FEW POLICIES

Numerous P-R Facebook readers feel it doesn’t make sense for New York state to require seat belts on school buses, but not their use.

Drivers defend that policy, citing school bus design, the limited reliability of seat belt cutters in emergencies and the higher level of safety school buses already provide. Read More

Senate approves increased penalties in N.Y. for passing stopped school bus

ALBANY, N.Y. >> Legislation that would increase penalties for passing a stopped school bus has passed in the Senate. The measure, sponsored by state Senator John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.

The bill would enhance current penalties for passing a stopped school bus by adding a 60-day suspension of a person’s driver’s license when the individual is convicted two or more times of passing a stopped school bus in a 10-year period.

Current law provides that an individual convicted two or more times of speeding in a construction zone be subject to a 60-day driver’s license suspension.

Bonacic wants the same penalty to apply to passing a stopped school bus.

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School bus stop arm cameras are in NY budget

Jeff Preval- http://www.wgrz.com

BUFFALO, NY - Two days after Governor Cuomo unveiled his budget, we're learning one part of his plan allows school districts to install cameras on school bus stop-arms.

This has been a safety issue 2 On Your Side has been following and asking questions about for years. But, lawmakers in Albany have had concerns about the cost that would be passed onto school districts.

In New York State, an estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses every day.

"It continues as a really serious problem," said Peter Mannella, executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, which has been fighting to get cameras on stop arms for years, to catch violators.

But, lawmakers have had questions about the costs that would fall onto school districts. In Governor Cuomo's proposed budget, school districts would be allowed to install cameras on stop arms.

"This year that's the first time that's ever happened, I think it gains a lot more support or at least less opposition, because it's going to be part of that overall package in the budget someone is going to have to be very focused to say let's take that out," Mannella said.

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School, transportation administrators back bus camera bill

http://www.whec.com

State lawmakers could soon give schools new weapons to stop drivers from illegally passing stopped school buses.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed new state budget includes a provision to raise fines for passing a stopped school bus and to let school systems install “stop arm” cameras on school buses.  The cameras would start recording when a bus stops and its red lights begin flashing.

By some estimates, cars illegally pass stopped school buses 50,000 times a day in New York State.

“When people pass the reds, it’s just a split second away from taking a child’s life,” said Kathleen Callon, Transportation Director for the East Irondequoit school system.

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