The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) sent a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this week outlining steps taken to inform the student transportation industry of necessary safety and training lessons learned from the fatal, chain-reaction crash involving two school buses on their way to a Missouri amusement park in August of 2010.
The four-page letter supported NTSB's recommendations made to the entire student transportation industry that members of NASDPTS, the National Association for Pupil Transportation and the National School Transportation Association be informed of the circumstances surrounding the Aug. 4, 2010 crash and that discussions center on driver solutions, pre-trip evacuations, vehicle inspections and technology.
NTSB concluded from its accident investigation that the distraction of the driver of a GMC pick-up truck caused the initial rear-end crash with a Volvo tractor-trailer on Interstate 44 near Gray Summit, Mo. The semi had slowed or stopped in a queue of vehicles entering a highway construction zone. Seconds later, two following school buses crashed into both the pick up and the semi. The driver of the GMC was killed as was a 16-year-old high school bandmember in the first bus.
Contributing factors were inadequate following distances by the school bus drivers and possible driver distraction. There were also problems uncovered with the bus brakes.
Both NAPT and NSTA told School Transportation News that they were also preparing written responses for NTSB.