All too often the industry talks about the problem of motorists blowing past stopped school buses that are loading and unloading students. But the Washington Post last weekend published an expose of numerous school buses caught running red lights in Washington, D.C.
And many of the violations caught on intersection red-light cameras are egregious, as this video shows. The Post investigation also uncovered that school bus drivers only paid about a dozen of the tickets issued from January 2009 to March 2013, and none faced disciplinary action from the school district.
Even as we published the latest article on electric school buses and are preparing editorial for our July magazine issue that focuses on alternative energy, don't forget the diesel — clean diesel that is.
AAA released its 2014 Green Car Guide that ranks the Top 10 passenger vehicles with low or zero emissions. And it might surprise some that half of the list was comprised of clean diesel vehicles.
"The field of green cars this year is the most competitive ever, so the fact that clean diesels ran away with five of the top 10 ratings is a great validation that clean-diesel cars are really a great choice for consumers looking to make greener transportation choices," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
Speaking of alternative fuels, propane fuel systems will be one of the topics of the Blue Bird Tech Training offered in July at the STN EXPO in Reno, Nev. Registration is still open for the three-day event that also covers electrical, multiplex diagnostics, instrumentation, engine emissions and air disc brakes.
The National School Transportation Association explained why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration denied a petition to delay last week's implementation of the Certified Medical Examiner National Registry. NSTA reported in its weekly newsletter to members that FMCSA said only drivers with medical certificates due to expire on or shortly after May 21 needed to take immediate action to obtain a medical certificate from an examiner on the National Registry.
FMCSA also said it believes the number of current certified examiners nationwide are sufficient. As of May 21, there were 21,710 certified medical examiners on the registry and another 2,500 who had completed the mandatory training and testing and who were scheduled to be added to the National Registry after their information in the FMCSA database was updated. That process is expected to be completed by mid to late June.
NSTA also said that FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro noted there have been no changes in the physical qualifications standards for commercial motor vehicle drivers. NSTA had argued that the National Registry "has the unintended effect of making the qualifications tougher by requiring drivers to obtain pre-clearance from specialists concerning pre-existing conditions."
Meanwhile, NSTA Executive Director Ronna Weber wrote FMCSA that the association commended the agency for its initiative in moving forward with a proposed rule on the Commercial Drivers License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which was published in the Federal Register in February. The letter did point out concern over little definition of how the fee-based system would be structured, possible human resource implications and effects on the Fair Credit Reporting Act for employers. But, overall, NSTA said the proposal is "well intended and could be a valuable resource for all employers."
A new Louisiana bill would empower IEP teams, reported Education Week. The legislation introduced last week would give teachers, administrators and parents "wide latitude" in determining how students with disabilities are promoted to the next grade as well as their graduation requirements.