School Bus Fleet

October 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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8 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 National stop-arm survey counts 76K violations BY THOMAS MCMAHON cle passing her school bus as she was crossing the street. In the 2012-13 school year, six chil- dren in the U.S. were fatally struck by vehicles passing their school bus, according to national data compiled by the Kansas State Department of Education. "Any driver who passes a stopped school bus illegally is endangering children and his or her future," Chris- tensen said. "These results highlight the potentially tragic consequences of saving a few seconds by passing a school bus. It can be devastating not only for the victims and their families, but also for the motorist who hits a child and will have to live with the sad consequences." Detailed results from the NASDPTS survey for 2014 and previous years can be found at stoparm. Tens of thousands of vehicles con- tinue to illegally pass school buses across the nation each day, according to the results of this year's nation- wide survey of stop-arm running. More than 97,000 school bus driv- ers in 29 states participated in the 2014 edition of the annual survey, which is spearheaded by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS). A total of 75,966 stop-arm viola- tions were counted in one day. NAS- DPTS offcials said that this sample points to more than 13 million viola- tions in a 180-day school year. "We know that students are far safer in school buses, but when they are outside the bus, they are more vulnerable to injury or death," NAS- DPTS President Max Christensen said. "There are nearly a half million school buses on the road each day in the United States. This survey cap- tured only a fraction of the violations that bus drivers and traffc offcers know all too well are occurring each and every day." Here are some key details on the 2014 survey results: • Of the total 75,966 stop-arm vio- lations counted, 98% were on the left side of the bus (the driver's side), and the other 2% were on the right side. • More vehicles passed buses from the front (58%) than from the rear (42%). • 45% of the violations occurred in the morning, 5% were mid-day and 50% were in the afternoon. This is the fourth year that NAS- DPTS has conducted the national sur- vey. The annual totals have ranged from a high of 88,025 in 2012 to a low of 75,966 violations this year. The number of school bus drivers partic- ipating has varied each year, which may explain the fuctuations in the vi- olation totals. Many states have taken steps to cut down on illegal passing of school buses, including increasing the pen- alties for violations, launching pub- lic awareness and law enforcement campaigns, and allowing the use of exterior cameras on school buses to capture violations. In June, South Carolina enacted a law allowing the use of stop-arm cameras. In March, Wyoming passed a bill that requires all school buses to have stop-arm cameras as of the 2016-17 school year. Up to $5 million will be appropriated to reimburse school dis- tricts for 100% of the costs of the vid- eo surveillance systems. The Wyoming bill was spurred by a 2011 incident in which an 11-year-old girl was struck and killed by a vehi- news alert news alert More vehicles passed school buses from the front (58%) than from the rear (42%). Of the total 75,966 stop-arm violations counted, 98% were on the left side of the school bus (the driver's side). Side of bus Right: 2% Left: 98% Direction of violation From rear: 42% From front: 58% 98 49 0 2 42 21 0 29 58

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