Sunday, September 15, 2019
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Laura Landis, a driver instructor, trainer and recruiter for Prince William County Schools in Maryland, shows teachers Kevin Loughery, Ryan Wicka, Shannon Parker, Yonika Powell, and Sharon Harrison how to perform the exterior bus inspection during a Saturday class to become bus drivers held at Parkside Middle School. (Photo courtesy of Prince William Times; photo by Randy Litzinger.)

NASDPTS Seeks Expanded Delay of New Entry-Level Driver Training Rule

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) asked the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to postpone all aspects...
Students loading bus

FMCSA Proposes Latest Rule to Alleviate Burdens to Obtaining CDL

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking to remove financial barriers for new CDL applicants who obtain their learner’s permit in their...

FMCSA Announces Partial Delay of Entry-Level Driver Training Rules

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) seeks to extend the compliance date for new entry-level driver training rules by exactly two years....
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...
automated driving systems

NHTSA, FMCSA Invite Input on Testing Vehicles with Automated Driving Systems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued advance notices of proposed rule-making on the removal of...
Photo By Mike Bullman

STN EXPO Indy: School Bus Inspector Training Aims to Reduce Breakdowns

A first-ever workshop to be presented on a national stage in June 2019, will provide details on improving the school bus inspection process, so...
video

FMCSA New Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued new regulations for driver training. Moving Ahead for Progress 2021, MAP21, is expected to save...

FMCSA Resources for Implementing Upcoming Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released additional online resources for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, employers, state driver licensing agencies, medical review...
A bus driver takes the wheel during the inaugural STN EXPO Ride & Drive in July 2016.

FMCSA Says CDL Final Rule to Cut Cost of Entry-Level Training

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final regulatory rule on March 5 that is expected to save time...
Rep. Gottheimer announces Miranda’s Law.

Miranda’s Law to Combat Unsafe School Bus Drivers

A bill to be introduced in the U.S. Congress by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., John Faso, R-N.Y., aims to make it harder for individuals...

September 2019

This technology issue covers onboard tablets, disruptions in the industry, new emerging technology and the industry’s Super...

Buyer’s Guide 2019

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