The Driver and the Eclipse

Schools across the nation went and edited their days so the eclipse that happens once every hundred years or so in our region could be accounted for!

A wide range of things occurred that day. Driver of most companies stayed off the road to ensure safety, schools altered their days to reflect half days, cancellations,  and celebrations!

One such celebration invited the schools drivers to their events! Come county schools near Atlanta invited their drives to the viewing and insisted that so long as the routes were on time there was more then enough eclipse to go around!

Child Dies in Daycar Van

Heat stroke is a killer.  People like to laugh and kid around about heatstroke being a “meh” sickness. It is not “meh,” it is deadly.

Although this is not strictly school bus related it does come in to partial play.  Schools do not always use school buses to transport children to and from school. A good amount of districts will use vans in special education situations. They use them for a multitude of reasons but one being that the students are easier to control in  a van. They can be buckled or harnessed in, there is a much smaller count, and they have less distractions that can be upsetting to certain special needs.

Van’s have many positives but can be just as deadly is not used properly. A school bus can have a “No child left behind system installed”.  Most of the buses these days do. Vans have no such system as of yet. They have to be checked by reminder or habit and not out of warning or need. It is dangerous because humans are not perfect. We get distracted by what comes next and when your sure you dropped everyone off, why check to see if there is anyone on board.

Mistakes can be fatal and van in schools or used to transport public children should be required to have a safety check!

And the Winner is……

The Cigma Well Being Award goes to Chicago-based school bus company Cook-Illinois Corporation!!!!!

Cigna is a global company and cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic that employers lose over $225 million annually because of employee health problems and they created the Well-Being Award to showcase employer who go above and beyond!

Cook has gone above and beyond to ensure their companies employees are as fit as fiddles. They have a registered dietician, do annual health walks, and a fitness program! They have seen drastic changes in weight loss, overall health and less smoking!

They deserve to be recognized for their attention to their employees well being and overall health! WAY TO GO!!!!

Wheel Chair Security

Last year I covered an incident where a handicapped girl in a wheel tipped over and smacked her head on the seat next to her. She then rode tipped over for three minutes until the driver reached her home. At which point the driver and aide righted her and helped her off.

Her mother is suing the school district for her daughters injuries and this has resulted in some serious wheel chair safety talks.

Obviously more then one thing is wrong with the above situation but Darren Reaume, national training manager for a wheelchair restraint system points out a big one, the proper training just isn’t there.

Wheel chairs come in many shapes and sizes. That means that knowing how to properly secure any chair is a very big deal. The news went on and noted that the chairs wheels weren’t locked, well when the chair is properly secured the wheels being unlocked does not matter. Shows what they know and where our training is lacking. School bus drivers need to secure the chair itself, not the wheels.

Proper training would have prevented such an incident and proper training is what we need going forward. The media should not be telling us how to do things, we should know and act before something like this occurs again.

NASDPTS Releases New Passing Survey Results

The new illegal passing survey done for the previous year has been realeased. This surgery is put on by  the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services  and its full results can be found here.

It tells us how many states take the survey, how many drivers reported, how many times they were illegally passed, etc. it tells us a lot of things but one thing you don’t see is how many of those motorists that could have killed or seriously injured a child were charged.

 

Ill tell you why. Less then half would be generous. Less then a quarter would be a dream! In reality less then 10% of people who illegally pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights and a stop arm extended, ever face the consequences.

That 10% isn’t a legal number but it comes from years of experience and reading reports.  So when I say that reporting isn’t enough, I mean it! A bus company or a school can only do so much. We need more legal support and people willing to see that every report is followed up on and the every perpertraitor is charged. If not charged then at least made to watch an10 minute video on the rules of passing a school bus and the results of lputt

 

 

Ohio Safety Plate

Ohio has recently passed bill 207 making a school bus safety license plate available state wide!

This plate features a picture of a school bus with flashing lights and states that we need to stop for them. The plate allows for new level of school bus awareness for the public!

I think this is a super idea and would love to see this become available in every state in the next year or so! People who want this specialty plate can buy it for $20.00 a year.

The bill 207 allocates $10 to the state and $10 to OAPT, “which shall use the money to support transportation programs, provide training to school transportation professionals, and support other initiatives for school transportation safety,” the law states.

This is an amazing way to promote awareness and raise funds for school bus transportation. Here’s to seeing many, many of these on the roads!

Chattanooga: New Charges for Walker!

Update!!!

Walker, who drove and crashed a school bus in Chattanooga Tennessee last November is facing new charges in his trial.

Acording to reports Walker faces six counts of vehicular homicide, charges of reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and using a portable electronic device as a bus driver.

He is a deplorable example of what a school bus driver should be like. We put all of our trust I the people who bring our children to school for us everyday and he leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

There is further talk that he may not face any jail if he  receives alternative judgement such as probation with a community service time.

I hope for the charges to all stick and letting this man anywhere near a moving vehicle should never be allowed!

A Florida Man Steals a Bus

Holmes county sheriff department was led on a wildgoose chase a few days ago when a local mans crime spree took a violent turn!

The suspect (whose original reason for fleeing was not stated) first encountered and injured a man in his home with a hammer while trying to steal his car. Upon this initial failure he attempted to break into a second home, and steal a mail delivery vehicle before he entered a school.

While in bethlehem school he was held at gun point by an armed school worker. At this point he was also being chased by a passing cop who witnessed him while he was breaking into the second home. After a brief hold up he escaped onto a school bus and went on a terrifying ride down BOTH sides of the road.


Just out side of town the cops shot the tires of the stolen school bus and was able to apprehend the suspect soon after he crashed into the woods.

This is a crazy story full of misfortune. I can’t believe how unfortunate the school and all of this bad mans victims were.  I hope no one is too hurt and the school is able to recover in time.

Haleigh

Fort Worth Collision

Quick and Dirty:

A 40 year old women was driving and turned down a street going the wrong way.

She immediatly collided head on with the school bus! She was brought to he hospital with severe injuries. Only one child on the bus was brought to the hospital with minor injuries while 11 other ps where. Heckled out at the accidents location.

Not much else has been reported and the ages of the children on board were not disclosed.

When a car and a bus collide the bus pretty much always comes out on top due to its raised carriage design and size. Lucky for all involved!

Pit would be nice to see the accident report and how the front end of the bus ended up. Maybe a future report will mention more details, until then here hoping everyone comes out alright!

Haleigh

Iowa is Going Mobile!

Iowa has decided to move forward in by using mobile devices such as an iPad/tablet in their school buses for gps, student counts, and a few extra daily tasks.

Monitor placement example.

If used properly they will allow for the bus driver to better monitor the students onboard and their route progress/efficiently! Strict rules and restrictions have been placed on the table usage and placement.

They cannot block anything essential on the counsel, they cannot block driver sight or mirrors, and they cannot block any path thatbmaybresult in a student clothiers/ backpack being caught on them.

With the way they are set up the driver will only be able to used school bus related programs on them and the tablets screen will go dark during transit, leaving only the sound activated in the drivers compartment. This is in hopes that a lit screen and on screen motion is not a distraction to the driver.

i adore this idea! It would be very handy to have them installed in more buses! Looking forward to seeing how this all works out!