Each day, hundreds of thousands of yellow school buses traverse bridges and roads across the country. As little as six years ago, the United States was ranked first in the world in highway infrastructure. Meanwhile, the nation has slipped to no higher than 15th.
President Obama over the weekend called on Congress to pass a new, long-term transportation bill before the current extension expires at the end of this month. He said a consequence of not passing the bill is that approximately 750,000 jobs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are at stake, both tied to highway infrastructure and transit, according to a new study from the National Economic Council . Another 100,000 jobs could be affected in U.S. territories.
According to an August 2008 report published by The Road Information Project (TRIP), 33 percent of the nation's major roads and highways at the time were in poor or mediocre condition, and one in four bridges were "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete." Additionally, 36 percent of the roads were congested.
Still, since SAFETEA-LU expired Sept. 30, 2005, Congress has passed seven continuing resolution to keep current funding levels at the same level, or a little more than $70 billion a year. In actuality, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Review Commission says nearly $190 billion a year is necessary. The American Public Transportation Association reported that House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) said an eighth and final extension might be passed before the transportation bill can be fully reauthorized.
The first high school football game of the season is, win or lose, supposed to be momentus but certainly not for the same reason as the footnote to the game between two Alabama high schools on Sept. 2. A 15-year old Southern Choctaw player was killed and 30 teammates were injured when their team school bus overturned after being struck by a car that ran a stop sign. The bus was on its way home from Flomaton High School, which won the game by a score of 35-7.
According to STN research, the death of Otties William was the first to occur on a school bus during the brand new 2011-2012 school year, either during regular route service or an activity trip.
A Jefferson County Public Schools bus driver sat down with a local news reporter in Louisville, Ky., this week to discuss an especially scary incident that occurred in March when an irate mother boarded the bus and assaulted her.
Johnetta Anderson suffered a torn hamstring, concussion and other injuries after she was assaulted and dragged off the bus in full view of 19 students. Jessica White, the woman convicted of the assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail, confronted Anderson because she said her son was being bullied.
"Maybe I'm being used for a reason," Anderson told WHAS11 News, who added that she remembered White screaming at her, "So now you see how it feels."
"I just wanted her to understand what she did was wrong and to be sorry for it," Anderson said of White.
Anderson refused medical treatment at the scene despite being temporarily rendered unconscious until help arrived to watch after the students. She also said the bullying problems had alread been reported to school administrators.