For the past several decades, Charlie Hott has been a go-to man for the school bus industry.
As a NHTSA safety engineer he was instrumental in the creation of the 1977 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for school buses, consisting of three new regulations together with modifications to four existing regulations that to this day govern the construction of all school buses in the U.S.
Ever since then, Hott has been at the center of all federal proposed regulations and final standards that affect school buses, including the Head Start variety, such as the revised school bus occupant protection rule that is set to go into effect this fall. He just will no longer be a federal employee when the mandatory three-point, lap/shoulder belt rule goes into effect for all small school buses, and voluntary standards are in place for the installation of the occupant restraints in large school buses.
Hott announced he is retiring from public service. An industry insider said student transportation officials were arranging to meet with NHTSA in Washington, D.C., during the first week of May to discuss the new school bus contact. The meeting is part of regularly-scheduled events with federal agencies tied to the annual NSTA Capitol Hill Fly-in.
Last year, ASBC made in-roads with Kevin Jennings, the assistant deputy of the Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools, on the issue of bullying, harassment and school buses.