After a two-year hiatus due to the impact of COVID-19 and the school bus driver shortage, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services is once again conducting its annual one-day count of motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The survey, which began in 2011, is voluntary. Participating school bus drivers manually note all instances of a motorist illegally passing their school bus on a given day. This year for California transporters the survey will take place on May 3.
NASDPTS press release adds that states shall select a representative snapshot day for drivers to conduct the illegal passing survey between March 9 and May 27. “Alternatively, state directors may allow local school districts to select a day of their choosing and may instruct or request that local school districts report directly to the NASDPTS survey,” the release states.
Ronna Weber, the executive director of NASDPTS told School Transportation News that results should be in by the summer.
The California Department of Education (CDE) announced that it is assisting NASDPTS in coordinating this year’s survey. “That data will be the first step in developing improved safety countermeasures at the state or national level,” CDE stated via a press release.
The CDE added in its release, two forms to be utilized by each participating school bus driver: the Illegal Passing Driver Reporting Form and the Illegal passing Results Form, which is a compilation of all occurrences for the day from all drivers documented by the district or school bus company.
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Weber said that NASDPTS is working with all states to collect the data, though she noted that states handle the survey collection in their own way.
The last survey to be conducted was in 2019 when over 107,000 of the nation’s nearly 500,000 school bus drivers reported that 81,841 vehicles illegally passed their buses across 31 states. NASDPTS said those violations equated to 17 million violations occurring nationwide over a 180-day school year.