School Bus Fleet

October 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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41 O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T PALMER PARK, Md. — Twenty school buses in Prince George's County Pub- lic Schools' feet will be equipped with cameras to capture evidence of stop- arm running this school year. The school district partnered with the Prince George's County Police De- partment on the new stop-arm camera program, dubbed "Safe Cross," which offcials said aims to protect children and prevent accidents. In August, the district and the po- lice department held a press event to announce the program. The event fea- tured a live demonstration with vehi- cles to show how the cameras work. A spokesperson for the Prince Texas district honored for hiring military, sees management changes Houston Independent School District (HISD) was recently recognized for its efforts to recruit and retain military personnel. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization, a U.S. Department of De- fense offce, presented an "Above and Beyond Award" to the district at its board meeting in June. The award is given in limited numbers by state committees to employers who have had at least one of their managers recognized with a Patriot Award. Spc. Benjamin Lytle, an HISD transportation employee and U.S. Army reservist currently serving in Afghanistan, nominated former HISD Senior Manager of Fleet Operations Mark Swack- hamer for a Patriot Award. Swackhamer was rec- ognized for providing direct support to Lytle and his family during Lytle's recent deployment. Swackhamer, a longtime feet manager and green transportation advocate, ended his tenure as the district's senior manager of feet opera- tions in August to take on the role of assistant director of transportation at Humble ISD. Swackhamer had been with Houston ISD for 11 years. At Houston ISD, he earned recognition for his efforts to implement alternative fuels and other green initiatives and implemented an effcient-driving training program. Rain-X donates visibility products for 2 districts' buses Rain-X made a year-long commitment aimed at keeping Houston-area kids safer with a donation to the Spring Independent School District (ISD) trans- portation department. In preparation for the 2014-15 school year, Spring ISD received Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner with Rain Repellent and Rain-X All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid for its feet of 440 buses and other vehicles. The feet serves 22,612 Houston-area students on 213 route buses daily. Rain-X, a part of the ITW Global Brands automotive product portfolio, is based in Houston, and offcials said that the company wanted to give back to its local community. In addition to keeping windshields clean, Rain-X formula repels rain, sleet and snow with its water-beading technology, according to the com- pany. The technology reportedly causes water on the vehicle windshield to bead up and roll away, enhancing driving visibility in inclement conditions. "We are so excited about our partnership with Rain-X this school year," said Brian Weisinger, director of transportation for Spring ISD. "Through this donation, our drivers will have the very best products to keep them prepared in even the most unpredictable weather. This also evokes a greater trust in parents and fami- lies who know we are dedicated to giving their kids the safest ride to and from school that we pos- sibly can." Rain-X will also donate its 2-in- 1 Glass Cleaner with Rain Repel- lent to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD transportation services depart- ment, which transports more than 70,000 students and has more than 1,000 buses total. Brian Weisinger, director of transporta- tion for Spring ISD, accepts a donation of glass cleaner and windshield washer fuid from Rain-X. Maryland county launches stop-arm cameras on 20 buses George's County Police Department told SBF that each of the school dis- trict's bus lots will have one or two buses equipped with the stop-arm cameras. "It is up to the discretion of the bus yard manager to decide which route to deploy the buses on," the police spokesperson said. At the press event, police and school district offcials gave an overview of the stop-arm camera program and ex- plained its importance. "This allows us the opportunity to safeguard our students who tra- verse on and off the buses on a daily basis," said Rex Barrett, head of secu- rity for Prince George's County Pub- lic Schools. "In addition, it allows us — with this public information that's going out right now — to let people know that we're taking this very seri- ously and that the violation notices will be issued." Barrett added that when the district's bus drivers were told about the stop- arm camera program during a recent in-service training session, the drivers responded with "nothing but cheers and applause. They were very excited about this program, because they ob- viously care very deeply for our stu- dents, and they don't want them to be in harm's way."

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