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No Child Left Behind in California


In addition to New Jersey’s passage of Abigail’s Law to protect children outside the school bus, California enacted legislation last fall to require districts and contractors are to install alarm systems onboard school buses to ensure pupils are not accidentally left behind unattended at the conclusion of routes. State Sen. Tony Mendoza sponsored the Paul Lee School Bus Safe- ty Law after the non-verbal, 19-year-old with autism died when he was left on a bus in Whittier for nine hours in 90-degree heat. Highlights of the bill include requiring plans and procedures to ensure a pupil is not left unattended, classroom instructions covering inspection procedures for drivers to follow, and re- quiring school vehicles to be equipped with a “child safety alert system” on or before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Charles Hood, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, said the issue is one that states have grappled with for many years. Prior to the development of electronic warning systems by a handful of companies, numerous states have long required drivers to walk to the back of a vehicle. He recalled that as far back as 15 years ago, the Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida required drivers to open the


State Sen. Tony Mendoza with Paul Lee’s parents last fall.


back door and place a surveyor’s ribbon so it was hanging out- side. In the rare case that a driver would forget, the absence of the ribbon would serve as a signal to other personnel that the bus had not been checked. Hood lauded that simple, manual system as “one that worked” and gives a nod to electronic systems. “Anything we can do to minimize that kind of error is a plus,” he said. “There has to be zero tolerance for it. Nobody wants it to happen, ever.”


—E.W.


Ready for what’s ahead?


Even the safest and most skilled drivers are at risk of rear-end collisions, rollovers, and loss of control. Today, Bendix gives your bus fl eet the power to help reduce that risk with a wide range of proven solutions, from air disc brakes to full stability. And additional technologies – including collision mitigation systems for school buses – in the near future. The unexpected is up ahead – will you be ready?


The time to prepare is now. Talk to your Bendix account manager, visit safertrucks.com/solutions, or call 1.800.AIR.BRAKE (1.800.247.2725) today.


Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.


© Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group. All Rights Reserved.


www.stnonline.com 47


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