Roundup: NHTSA, Seat Belts and STN EXPO

Is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reopening the school bus lap/shoulder seat belt debate? Apparently so, judging from an all-day meeting and working group hosted by the agency on Thursday in Washington, D.C. A school bus official we spoke with immediately after the event said that NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind provided these parting words (we paraphrase): Sometime this fall the agency would have a plan in place regarding occupant restraint systems on school buses.

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Roundup: The Noxious History of 'School Bus Chrome'

In May, the National Congress on School Transportation celebrated it’s 75th – well, technically 76th – birthday. Many in the industry know of the first national school bus specification meeting in 1939, called by Dr. Frank Cyr of Teacher’s College at Columbia University with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. An article by shed some good detail on perhaps the most famous result of that first event.

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NHTSA to Discuss Seat Belts on School Buses

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to discuss the challenges and barriers preventing school districts from installing three-point seat belts on school buses later this month in Washington, D.C.

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Louisiana Governor Signs Bus Routes Bill Into Law

Last week, Louisiana governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 695, which gives schools more flexibility when planning and implementing school bus routes while also amending HB 600/654 from the 2014 legislative session.

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Roundup: A Life-Saving Dog, A Bus Company Closes Shop and More

A service dog leaped in front of an oncoming school bus to save its blind owner. Upon entering a crosswalk, the service dog noticed the bus wasn’t going to slow down and took the brunt of the impact, saving the 62-year-old woman from worse injury. While neither emerged unscathed, both are expected to make full recoveries. 

Goldstar Transit will close it facility and lay off its 69 workers after a local school district decided to return its bus operations in-house. Manor ISD opted not to renew its $2 million contract with the Texas-based bus transportation company. The terminated positions are expected to remain permanent.   

In an effort to pursue cleaner forms of energy, Kanawha County Schools is powering up with propane. The district will utilize propane buses during the month of June as part of a West Virginia Department of Education initiative for schools to seek alternative fuel for bus fleets. 

Lawmakers in Boston continue to push for seatbelts to be included on school buses throughout the state. Under current regulations, seatbelts are not required for school buses in Massachusetts. A group representing school-bus contractors has urged lawmakers not to pursue bills to change the law, citing cost increases and compliance concerns.  

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