As the new year approaches, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services is preparing to begin collecting data from states for the annual survey of illegal passing.
The third-annual survey is scheduled for the spring of 2013. Nearly 100,000 school bus drivers from 28 states participated in a one-day count conducted this past spring. They reported 39,760 stop-arm violations, which often involved several cars in each incident. NASDPTS extrapolated that, during a typical 180-day school year, the sample of 88,025 vehicles that illegally passed school buses represented nearly 16 milllion total violations by private motorists.
The first survey was conducted in 2011 and found that 37,756 total stop-arm violations occurred in 28 states, as reported by 112,000 participating school bus drivers. NASDPTS added that the 76,685 vehicles that reportedly passed school buses illegally in those states represent more than 13 million violations by private motorists.
In its resolution passed during its annual conference held in October in Memphis, Tenn., NASDPTS members approved its most recent pledge to continueing encouraging all local and state directors of student transportation to coordinate data collection "in order to achieve participation by an even highter proportion of the nation's one-half million school bus driving professionals." The resolution also outlined how states can provide an inventory of states laws and rules on the required driving behavior of motorists who encounter stopped school buses that are in the process of loading or unloading student passengers. These include:
- When motorists traveling from either direction are and are not required to stop for school buses
- Criminal and civil penalities for violations
- Admissibility of video evidence for both criminal and civil prosecution
- Evidence needed by law enforcement and court systems to issue citations and impose criminal and civil penalities
As previously reported, NASDPTS also posted on its website a summary of school bus stop laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report was conducted by School Training Solutions.
In other NASPTS news, the association also passed resolutions in Memphis to recognize former members who passed away during 2011 as well as all students who were killed during the year in school bus-related accidents.
NASDPTS members also recognized the work of Bill Loshbough, the trade show manager for NAPT, and Rodney McKnight, NASDPTS former director of membership services. McKnight is now a regional transportation coordinator for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. His NASDPTS membership services position is being filled by Steven Huillet, the retiring state director from the Oregon Department of Education who was also recognized by NASDPTS for providing technical assistance to speakers during the annual conference in Memphis.