Keith Dreiling, who was named in late January to the post of director of School Bus Safety for the Kansas State Department of Education, invited school districts around the state on April 24 to participate in this year's tally of motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The one-day figures recorded by school bus drivers will be forwarded to NASDPTS for inclusion in the association's 2013 National Stop Arm Violation Count. For the past two years, 28 states have participated in NASDPTS' survey. Last year, nearly 100,000 bus drivers reported 39,760 total stop arm passing incidents, often involving several cars in each incident. Reports were not available from all states, but in a typical 180-day school year, NASDPTS estimates that 88,025 vehicles passed school buses illegally nationwide, which represent nearly 16 million violations by private motorists.
In a memo to all school-district transportation departments, Dreiling said this year's Kansas data will help to improve countermeasures to illegal passers at both the state and national levels, which improves student safety. He included a "compilation spreadsheet" for districts to use as well as a violation report. School bus drivers are instructed to record any illegal passings that occur only when the school bus is stopped with red warning lights flashing and stop arm deployed.
Dreiling added that this year's count focuses exclusively on individual vehicles that illegally pass schol buses, regardless of whether multiple vehicles pass at the same stop. Dreiling said this focus is different from previous years.
Kansas school districts were also instructed to return survey results directly to NASDPTS no later than May 8.
The Kansas State Department of Education also conducts the National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey.