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DRIVING THE INDUSTRY SINCE 1991


NSTA SPRING MEETING, INDUSTRY BUS-IN HELD IN NATION’S CAPITOL


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embers of the National School Transpor- tation Association met with federal law- makers in Washington, D.C., April 1-2 during the annual “Bus-In.” School bus


contractors discussed legislative and regulatory issues pertaining to student transportation and their businesses. Also on hand were other industry represen-


tatives from the National Association for Pupil Transportation and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services to meet with federal agencies. “We are excited to welcome our members to


Washington, D.C., once again. Meeting with federally elected officials and discussing our most pressing issues is critical to our continued success,” said NSTA President Tim Flood. NSTA members met for their quarterly meeting on the first day before adjourning for a dinner with Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Te next day, the group had more than 190 individual Hill meetings for its members with congressional representatives. Te three industry associations also met with


federal agencies, including EPA, FMCSA, NHTSA, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Transportation Safety Board.


NHTSA FINAL RULE AMENDS FMVSS 111 TO REQUIRE REARVIEW BACKUP CAMERAS While many later-model passenger


vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds GVWR — including some Type A-1 SRW school buses in that weight category — to be equipped with rear-view cameras by May 1, 2018. NHTSA officials noted that existing


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technology that meets the new re- quirements provides “the most effective and most cost-effective” solution to better protecting children and people with disabilities. Te new rule also changes the title of FMVSS 111 from “Rearview Mir- rors” to “Rear Visibility,” and expands the required field-of-view to include a 10- by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle.


he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a final rule in late March to amend FMVSS 111, which requires all


vehicles already offer the backup cam- eras as options, the systems would be required installs by vehicle manufactur- ers within three years, when they must show NHTSA they are ready to meet the 2018 compliance deadline. Te final rule was required by the


passage of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, named after a 2-year-old boy who was accidentally killed by his father while backing up into the family driveway. Te safety advocacy website KidsandCars.org documented 3,020 non-traffic fatal incidents involving children under age 15 from 1991 through 2012. Roughly a third of the fatalities (1,126) resulted from a back- over incident. Te only vehicles to remain fully exempt are motorcycles and trailers.


NEW YORK SCHOOL BUS CONTRACTOR LAUNCHES CUSTOM CHILD-CHECK SOLUTION


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uffolk Transportation Service in Bay Shore, N.Y., recently partnered with Child Check-Mate and Zonar to allow service managers to monitor if sleeping children are left alone on school buses at the end of routes. “We invest heavily in recruitment and training, and we have an excellent staff of


professional drivers as a result. But we’re all human, and even the most conscientious drivers make mistakes. So, this investment in technology is just another way we’re helping to mitigate human error,” said Tom Smith, director of the School Bus Division at Suffolk Transportation. Suffolk Transportation commissioned the new system to help safeguard the tens of thousands of student riders the company provides service to each day. If a driver com- pletes the route but fails to detect children still onboard, Child Check-Mate’s “Double Check” feature will activate once the child awakens and begins to move about the bus. It will turn on the interior lights of the vehicle, even if the bus is turned off. It will also speak to the child and will activate an alert from Zonar to the transportation department. “We are very pleased that companies are making the investment in time and dollars to


improve the safety and reliability of our student transportation,” said Jacqueline Wilson, president of the Suffolk Region PTA and the local Bus Safety Advisory Board, both of which worked with Suffolk Transportation and the Lindenhurst Union Free School District on developing the custom solution.


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