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SPECIAL REPORT Seated Security


WE REALLY DO MEAN


FULL SERVICE


With radiators, DPFs, EGRs and more than 30,000 exhaust parts, it’s no wonder Auto-jet is the choice of school bus systems coast to coast.


Child passenger safety technicians play a large role in ensuring safety during special needs routes


Written By Taylor Hannon | taylor@stnonline.com B


John Rapp President


ecoming a certified passenger safety technician (CPST) isn’t an easy task. But transportation officials and instructors said that it is beneficial to have at least one credentialed employee on staff, despite the necessary time and resource allocations.


Techs allow departments to be more aware of securing various types of


child safety restraint systems (CSRS) in school buses, while also being sure to accommodate students who have special needs, plus preschool-aged students. To become a CPST, an indvidual must complete a 32-hour course that


details how to secure children in all kinds of vehicles and using all kinds of CSRS. While the 32-hour course focuses primarily on private vehicles, vans and cars, it includes the principles of occupant protection, and how all of the pieces and parts work together to ensure proper safety. An additional eight-hour course, which is approved by the National


Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is specialty training that is designed to teach school transportation professionals how to use child safety restraint systems in the school bus environment. The course teaches how to use child safety seats that are designed to be


used only in the school bus. For example, only booster seats with built-in harnesses can be used, according to NHTSA. Sue Shutrump, who helps teach and coordinate the NHTSA school bus training (she also co-wrote the course material), said the vast majority of people who attend are not CPSTs. If they already completed the 32- hour training, the course will certify them to teach the class. However, most participants are driver trainers, monitors, bus drivers, or anyone whose job reasonably includes securing children in CSRS on school buses, such as school district physical therapists. “Overall, what’s really


AUTO-JET.COM 800-247-5391


wonderful [about attending both courses] is that you have a wide knowledge of child passenger safety for children


22 School Transportation News • MARCH 2020


From left: Marion Haupt, Flor Salazar and Sure White are the CPSTs at Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.


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