School Bus Fleet

August 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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industry news 12 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 South Carolina stop-arm camera bill signed (BY THOMAS MCMAHON) COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed legisla- tion that authorizes stop-arm camer- as on school buses. Under the new law, school buses in South Carolina can be equipped with digital video recording devic- es to document vehicles passing ille- gally on either side. The legislation also allows images from the stop- arm cameras to be used as evidence in citing offenders. Pupil transportation offcials in South Carolina supported the bill, S.718. It tied in with the S.A.V.E. (Stop-Arm Violation Education En- forcement) campaign, which was created by David Poag and several of his colleagues. Poag got in contact with Sen. Thomas Alexander, who introduced S.718 in May of last year. The bill was later added as an amendment to H.5014, which Haley signed into law in June. It went into effect immediately. "We frmly believe the use of vid- eo surveillance in enforcement ef- forts will ultimately make motor- ists think twice before passing a stopped school bus, therefore de- creasing the amount of stop-arm vi- olations," Poag said. "For those mo- torists who don't think twice, they'll have to think about how they're go- ing to pay the price. Hopefully South Carolina school districts and law en- forcement can work together to en- force this bill." Sen. Alexander added, "This is simply about the safety and protec- tion of our most precious resource, our schoolchildren. ... If adding cam- eras to the buses will help us prevent one accident, it will be worth it." Newly passed legislation allows school buses in South Carolina to be equipped with digital video recording devices to document vehicles passing illegally. Photo by Michael Dallessandro CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — "Turn it off," said the note posted on the comment board in Douglas County School Dis- trict's bus driver lounge. No, it wasn't someone complaining anonymously about the music, the TV or the radio. It was a reminder to the drivers to cut back on idling time. Douglas County School District's transportation department was spon- soring a contest between its west, east and north terminals to see which group could turn in the lowest amount of en- gine idling time. The slogan was "Low Idle — Wins Title." The contest lasted four weeks, from mid-April to mid-May. During that time, it was cold and snowy — not unusual for Colorado. In fact, Douglas County received 8 to 12 inches of snow on Mother's Day. The terminal with the lowest time (tracked by Zonar technology) would win a catered lunch for all of its person- nel from the district's food services de- partment. The result: The east terminal won. But the district won even more. Scott Bene- feld, the interim director of transporta- tion, said that during the contest, the east terminal cut its idling time by 50%, saving the district $6,000 in fuel costs. The other two terminals came close, so the estimated department-wide sav- ings, for a feet of about 300 buses, was around $15,000 to $16,000. Final note: Yes, the food was deli- cious. Roasted chicken with jalapeño sauce, barbecued pulled pork, corn on the cob, rolls, coleslaw salad, spinach beet salad, apple crisp dessert and lemonade. John Horton is a veteran school bus driver for Douglas County School District and an occasional contributor to SBF. Anti-idling contest saves about $15,000 in fuel BY JOHN HORTON Douglas County (Colo.) School District sponsored a competition between its bus ter- minals to see which group could turn in the lowest amount of idling time. Photo by John Horton

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