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Close-up View of a Flying School Bus Crash, Frame by Frame

Few people ever see a school bus actually fly into the air and crash onto a concrete road, traveling on just two rubber wheels...
Joevanny Vargas, who lost his daughter in the May 2018 Paramus bus crash, met with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in June 2019. (Photo courtesy of Sen. Robert Menendez’s office.)

Support Builds for School Bus Safety Legislation in Congress

Two companion bills to the Gottheimer Bipartisan House Legislation have been introduced in the U.S. Senate: the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment...
Burned Iowa school bus.

Industry Responses Trickle in on NTSB School Bus Fire Recommendations

Aside from calling for universal school bus fire suppression systems and improved oversight on drivers with medical issues, the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations...
School bus with stop arm deployed and LED lights flashing.

Maine Becomes Latest State to Pass a Stop-Arm Camera Bill

Earlier this month, the Maine Senate passed Senate Bill 166, which allows for additional enforcement and prevention options for unlawful passing of a school...
The school bus was equipped with a video recording system, but despite efforts by the NTSB lab, the video data could not be salvaged. (Photo by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.)

NTSB Calls for Fire Suppression Systems in All School Buses

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has adopted a new recommendation to require fire suppression systems in all new school buses—and to retrofit those...

STN EXPO Indy Keynote Explains Need for Speed in Responding to Security Threats

INDIANAPOLIS — Internationally-renowned school security expert and author Chris Dorn delivered what could have been a depressing STN EXPO keynote presentation on school and...
Attendees walk toward the crash-tested bus.

SafeGuard School Bus Crash Demo Kicks Off STN EXPO Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — Over 100 attendees watched in awe as a 2007 66-passenger Type C IC Bus school bus was crash tested at the Center...
The bipartisan Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act (Miranda’s Law) was formally introduced in the House of Representatives to ensure real-time driver background checks and that states receive the information in a timelier fashion. The bipartisan Miranda Law would require automatic notifications of driver violations to school districts and school bus companies within 24 hours, so they can take immediate action to keep unsafe drivers off the road and away from our children. It would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create an employer notification service, or ENS, and make it mandatory for all school bus drivers across the nation. The bill would require any employer of school bus drivers to participate in the service. Miranda’s Law would also require states to use the ENS to qualify for federal-aid highway funds. When a school bus driver has any driving infraction beyond a parking ticket, Miranda's Law would send an alert to school districts or school bus companies within 24 hours. An ENS, the bill states, gives employers real-time, automatic notifications when a bus driver’s license status changes because of a moving violation conviction, crash, license suspension, or other triggering event. Last May, a crash involving a Paramus Board of Education school bus that was transporting students from East Brook Middle School during a field trip killed 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and teacher Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy. The incident, allegedly caused when the school bus driver attempted a U-turn across multiple lanes of traffic on Route 80, shined a spotlight on what the legislators called flaws in school bus driver oversight. The driver of the bus was found to have had more than 14 license suspensions at the time of the crash. The group of legislators who introduced Miranda’s Law on May 23 said the issue is not limited to New Jersey. Instead, lack of oversight is occurring nationwide, they argue. The National Transportation Safety Board also found a lack of driver oversight caused fatal school bus crashes in Baltimore and Chattanooga, Tennessee in December 2016. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Elise Stefanik (NY), Tom Reed and Thomas Suozzi (NY), Steve Cohen (TN), Dan Kildee (MI), Elijah Cummings (MD) and Albio Sires (NJ). Current federal regulations require school districts and bus companies check their employees’ driving history records annually. But if a driver fails to self-report a traffic violation or license suspension, it could be up to 364 days before a school district or school bus company receives that information. The legislators said research has shown that only 50- to 80 percent of commercial drivers actually self-report violations. Suspended drivers across all vehicle types have a crash rate 14 times higher than other drivers. “We must strengthen background checks on school bus drivers to protect our children from those, like the driver who drove Miranda’s bus, who have no place getting behind the wheel,” said Gottheimer. “We are here to help turn tragedy into hope for other children and families. I’m glad that Miranda’s father, Joevanny, will be joining me in Washington this spring to tell his story to members of Congress on why our communities so desperately need this school bus safety legislation. Miranda’s Law will help save lives, and there’s nothing partisan about that.” Miranda’s Law builds off a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pilot program to implement a robust nationwide employer notification service, with each state required to use the service. It’s cost-effective. Following a feasibility study demonstrating that ENS would pay back at 15:1 and pay for itself in less than a year, DOT ran a pilot program in Colorado and Minnesota, which demonstrated that “a nationwide employer notification service was needed and could have significant safety and monetary benefits for motor carriers.”

Miranda’s Law Formally Introduced in U.S. Congress

The bipartisan Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act (Miranda’s Law) was formally introduced in the House of Representatives to ensure real-time driver...
Jackson Horner poses with the reflective belt.

Bus Driver for First Student Gets Reflective Belts for her Students

A school bus driver for First Student, based in Helena, Montana, recently felt the need to make school bus stops safer on her route....
A stop arm rests flush against a school bus next to a video camera.

Oklahoma Becomes Latest State to Allow School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras

Starting this fall, motorists in the Sooner State who illegally pass stopped school buses face the possibility of being captured on video. Oklahoma is...

July 2019

Developing trust, a safety culture, driver appreciation and more. Read the full July 2019 Issue here. Cover Story Retention Starts...

Buyer’s Guide 2019

Find the latest vehicle production data, state student ridership and budget reports, industry trends and contact information...