STN Blogs Daily Routes Roundup: Distraction Studies Abound, NYC School Bus Strike Gets Nasty
Roundup: Distraction Studies Abound, NYC School Bus Strike Gets Nasty PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Gray   
Friday, 25 January 2013 16:57

From the "oops" department, an erroneous headline for a Fox News Opinion article attibuted to John Stossel reported that "School Busses doesn't (sic) need seat belts but thanks to Team Obama you'll pay."

The article, which apparently was later taken offline, referenced an announcement by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland that a final rule will be published by the end of this year to require lap-shoulder seat belts on motorcoaches.

STN readers will recall that NHTSA updated FMVSS 222 and others on school bus safety a few years ago to require the three-point systems on small school buses that weight less than 10,000 pounds. But the feds found that the decision on whether or not to install the restraints on larger school buses is best left to individual states or local school districts.

Several new studies point to the increasing dangers of distracted driving and sleepy motorists.

Research on driver habits in 2009 and 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control found that more than 4 percent of 147,000 drivers surveyed said they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the previous month.

Last month, U.S. News & World Report cited data from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research at the University of Bordeaux in France that half of all crashes may be caused by a driver's internal "wandering thoughts and worries." The research, published in the journal BMJ, reviewed nearly 1,000 collisions. 

A study in the UK said motorists spend nearly 18 percent of their time not focusing on the road while they are behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported earlier last month that U.S. traffic deaths increased by 7 percent in 2012.

Distraction also affects pedestrians, reported the Seattle Times last month.

Union school bus employees are accused of slashing the tires of 11 school buses in Brooklyn on the seventh day of a citywide strike over contracts that were recently put out for re-bid for the first time in decades. New York City is attempting to curb rampant operating costs. Workers at Reliant Transportation discovered the disabled school buses on Thursday morning. The bus company has sought to hire replacement drivers, reported the New York Daily News. The National Labor Relations Board is now involved as it is hearing challenges to the strike, which was threatened to move well into next week.



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:43