Zonar Beta Testing Driver Behavior App for 2020 Tablet

Amid news that partner GreenRoad is integrating an in-vehicle camera to capture video of driver behavior behind the wheel, a Zonar Systems representative said the GPS hardware and software company is currently testing the GreenRoad app for the 2020 tablet that is coming to school buses.

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Roundup: Drivers Face New Regulations, A First Day SNAFU and Rap Ban

As students head back to the classroom, school bus drivers throughout Tennessee face new regulations this school year, specifically for how drivers handle phone calls, a response sparked by the fatal bus crash in Knoxville that killed two children and a teacher’s aide. Other regulations include ramping up procedures for railroad crossing, continuous training for bus evacuations, and increasing drivers training time. “Anytime something like that happens we want to make sure we try to learn from it and grow from that tragedy,” said Carter County Schools Transportation Director Wayne Sams, citing the crash as the reason for the several changes in the established regulations.

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Raising Autism Awareness on the School Bus

With one in 68 children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the condition is evidently on the rise across the country. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, this current autism diagnosis rate represents a 30-percent increase since 2008. In order to raise ASD awareness and assistance, the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and the Autism Society have partnered to provide school bus contractors the necessary training and information about the disorder.

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Roundup: A Life-Saving Dog, A Bus Company Closes Shop and More

A service dog leaped in front of an oncoming school bus to save its blind owner. Upon entering a crosswalk, the service dog noticed the bus wasn’t going to slow down and took the brunt of the impact, saving the 62-year-old woman from worse injury. While neither emerged unscathed, both are expected to make full recoveries. 

Goldstar Transit will close it facility and lay off its 69 workers after a local school district decided to return its bus operations in-house. Manor ISD opted not to renew its $2 million contract with the Texas-based bus transportation company. The terminated positions are expected to remain permanent.   

In an effort to pursue cleaner forms of energy, Kanawha County Schools is powering up with propane. The district will utilize propane buses during the month of June as part of a West Virginia Department of Education initiative for schools to seek alternative fuel for bus fleets. 

Lawmakers in Boston continue to push for seatbelts to be included on school buses throughout the state. Under current regulations, seatbelts are not required for school buses in Massachusetts. A group representing school-bus contractors has urged lawmakers not to pursue bills to change the law, citing cost increases and compliance concerns.  

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Collaboration Needed to Improve Bus Behavior

There are many challenges that come with the job of driving a school bus, especially when students misbehave and cause distractions. A school bus company and elementary school in Palmer, Massachusetts, have partnered to create a program that encourages and rewards positive behavior from students on the school bus.

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Watch and See

Demand is rising on all fronts for the video surveillance systems used to keep an eye on children riding the school bus — among suppliers working to meet customer demand, schools seeking accountability and parents who increasingly call for student monitoring.

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