Courtesy of The Associated Press

Nine students around the nation, including one in Wyoming, died at or near school bus stops in 2011.

The horror of that death and the number of drivers who disregard rules involving buses stopped for students has prompted a
Wyoming legislative committee to consider ways to increase safety.

Initially, the interim Joint Education Committee will work from a new Iowa law that increases penalties for failing to heed school bus warning devices. In addition, lawmakers expressed interest in equipping all Wyoming school buses with cameras that can capture images of violators.

Work on a proposal will begin this summer, with a bill possibly going to the full Legislature next year.

The discussion on school bus safety is being driven by students and staff members at Fremont County School District 6.

On Dec. 20, 2011, a district student _ 11-year-old MaKayla Marie Strahle of Crowheart _ was struck and killed as she crossed a highway after getting off a school bus that had its flashing lights activated. The driver of the vehicle was convicted of several misdemeanor charges, including homicide by vehicle.

Diana Clapp, superintendent of the school district, said a dozen students have been working hard to research the safety issue and come up with solutions. Clapp and several students made a presentation on Monday to the Joint Education Committee in Casper.

"This is tied to a tragic loss of a young girl in our school and community and their classmate and friend," Clapp said Wednesday. "But I believe they did a good job in addition to that personal testimony looking to see what other states are doing and how it would apply across the state."

The district has installed cameras on six school buses to record vehicles that illegally pass _ an action called a drive-by or
fly-by.

Clapp said the rural district, which encompasses about 1,300 square miles, includes about 400 kindergarten through 12th grade students, and many rely on school buses for transportation.

"Students on the road is a big issue for us _ either on buses or driving themselves to and from school," she said.

In addition to tougher penalties and bus cameras, Clapp said she'd like to see safer practices involving unloading and road crossings made standard across the state.

Wyoming, which has been tracking fly-bys since 1999, counted 297 in one day in 2011-12. Over the entire school year that figure could have reached an estimated 52,000 violations, said David Koskelowski, program manager for traffic safety and pupil transportation with the state Education Department.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services estimated that more than 16 million illegal school
bus passings occurred in 2012.

Article Online:  http://www.laramieboomerang.com/articles/2013/06/06/ap-state-wy/wy_school_bus_safety.txt
 
 


Durham School Bus Workers Speak Out About Safety, Wage Theft Concerns
 
ROSEDALE, Md., May 23, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 
School bus drivers and attendants with Durham School Services who transport students attending Baltimore City Public Schools
joined with Teamsters, political and other community leaders at a rally today to demand respect and safe working conditions.
 
Durham workers spoke out about workplace safety and service issues that may impact the safe transportation of area schoolchildren.

"I have reported mold problems on our bus for years and the problem is not fixed. I'm scared for the kids on the bus," said Stephanie Urosa, a six-year attendant on a bus for children with special needs. "Some of the children we transport have weakened immune systems and allergies and they don't need to be exposed to this. Mold is just one of a number of safety concerns we have."

In addition to mold, drivers and attendants spoke about fuel leaks, electrical problems, problems with the air brakes and a recent fire on a school bus. 

"Safety is paramount. Durham has ignored the workers' concerns about the unsafe conditions of the buses. Making matters worse, workers aren't getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. These workers deserve a strong union so their voices can be heard and our kids can be kept safe," said Sean Cedenio, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 570 in Baltimore.

"I support the bus drivers and attendants' fundamental right to collectively bargain. In light of the troubling reports about unsafe school buses and serious wage and hour issues, the workers here have a very important voice that should be heard," said J. Ronald DeJuliis, Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
 
More than 85 Durham drivers and attendants have signed on to a class-action lawsuit claiming wage theft by the contractor. In the lawsuit filed March 12 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the plaintiffs bring claims to recover wages owed by the company.

"This company has been taking the money we earn. I'm not paid for all of the hours I work and my paycheck hasn't been correct for the last year. We got so tired of reporting these pay issues without the company resolving the problem that the drivers and attendants had no choice but to file a class-action lawsuit to get the pay that we have worked hard for and earned," said Mildred Israel, a Durham driver in Rosedale.

In 2012 Durham workers filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over surveillance by the company as the workers began to organize to form a union with Local 570. The NLRB found in favor of the workers and issued Durham with a 60-day probation order in March 2013.

While under probation, Durham continued to violate labor laws and the workers were forced to file another unfair labor practice charge on May 1 against the company over illegal surveillance.

About 150 drivers and attendants work for Durham in Rosedale. Durham is the second-largest school bus company in the United States and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC, a United Kingdom-based multinational transportation company.

Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 35,700 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters
 

Read more here:
http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/05/23/4887622/durham-school-bus-workers-speak.html#storylink=cpy
 
 
Courtesy of: Associated Press

Some lawmakers want to shift inspections to a new department, and that move could derail a bill that closes a loophole regarding buses with chronic problems.

DES MOINES -- Most Iowa lawmakers agree that changes need to be made to the state's system for inspecting school buses, but it's unlikely a bill will pass this year because they can't agree on what should be done.

A bill that would help close loopholes in the inspection system by requiring buses with serious problems to be re-inspected before returning to service passed the Iowa Senate on a 46-2 vote.

At least 99 school buses in Iowa have been found to have the same problems in consecutive inspections over the past five years. And Iowa school vehicles that carry fewer than 10 children aren't required to undergo safety inspections.

Some lawmakers now want to shift bus inspections out of the Education Department and into the state Transportation Department, and that move could derail the legislation, the Des Moines Register reported.

Republican Rep. Kevin Koester, of Ankeny, said school buses should undergo the same inspections as commercial vehicles, even if the revised bill can't be passed this year.

"I am not in a hurry to pass a bill that's not that adequate," he said. And the Education Department can make some changes to the inspections without a new law.

But former lawmaker Mike Cormack, who works for the Education Department, said moving the inspections would only delay needed improvements.

"It's careless and reckless to do lawmaking on something as important as the safety of children in the waning days of a legislative session," Cormack said. "The best thing would be to take the more well-vetted legislation and send it to
the governor's office."

Koester said moving inspections to the Transportation Department should save school districts money.

Article online:  http://www.thonline.com/news/iowa-illinois-wisconsin/article_17d41bad-44bf-54c1-8b56-96c9222498de.html


 
 
  • Article courtesy of:  Bob Segall @ WTHR.com

  • The number of serious safety violations found on Indiana school buses has jumped sharply, but most parents would have no way of knowing. 13 Investigates is now doing something that's never been done before: releasing inspection results for every school bus in the state. For many Indiana school districts, the online database paints a troubling picture of poor maintenance practices, apathy and risk-taking that puts student safety at risk.

    On a cool morning in May, as bus 117 rolls towards his driveway, Art Mabry looks down and smiles.

    "Give me a kiss and have a good day," he says, briefly locking eyes with his second-grade granddaughter before watching her climb aboard.  Moments later, the Warren Township school bus pulls around the corner, carrying Haley Mabry to elementary school – and also carrying a secret.

    Like many school buses in Warren Township, bus 117 has a history of serious safety violations. It recently failed its annual safety inspection.

    Art Mabry had no idea.

    "This is my routine. Every day, I put her on that bus, but I didn't know about any of that," he said, looking at a list of violations state inspectors recently found on bus 117. "Bad brakes? Bad steering? Engine problems? Oil and fluid leaks? If there's those kinds of issues going on, that's just total neglect for the safety of all these little children on these buses."

    Bus 117 is certainly not alone.

    View safety information on all Indiana school buses

    Inspection documents show safety violations involving thousands of school buses all over the state. Many of the violations are for serious safety problems that put hundreds of thousands of students at risk.

    Rigorous inspections

    Every school bus in Indiana must be inspected at least once per year. It's state law.

    Indiana State Police troopers conduct the inspections, which cover all aspects of the vehicle's operation.

    Inspectors say detecting mechanical issues is a crucial step in helping to prevent school bus accidents. And if there were to be an accident, state police want to make sure emergency equipment inside the bus is working so students can safely escape.

    "I look at every bus as a bus my child would be riding," said ISP motor carrier inspector Chris Kath. "These buses are transporting our children. What's more important than that?"

    Kath looks for even minor problems such as holes in seat cushions, broken brackets and trash left on a bus.

    But he says it's more serious violations involving brakes, tires, engines, and safety equipment that can result in a bus being classified as Out of Service.

    "Out of Service violations are something that could harm the student. It means [the bus] has what we deem a serious safety violation and they cannot transport passengers," he explained.

    Indiana State Police tell WTHR no more than 5- to 10-percent of a school district's buses should be placed Out of Service during an annual inspection.

    But Eyewitness News has found for many school districts, the Out of Service rate is much higher.

    "Wow. That's Terrible"

    13 Investigates obtained inspection results for every school bus in Indiana. They show some of Indiana's largest school districts have a horrible safety record when it comes to bus inspections.

    Among the worst Out of Service rates in the state: 
     - M.S.D. Warren Township at 29%
  •   - Lebanon Community Schools at 33%
      - M&M Bus Company (servicing Muncie Community Schools) at 37%
      - M.S.D. Lawrence Township at 40%
      - Illinois Central Bus Company (servicing Gary Community Schools) at 49%
  • How do that many school buses fail an annual state inspection?

    "It's a lack of preparation on our part. The buses should have been better prepared," admits Kevin Mest, chief operating officer for Illinois Central. "We should have done better. We're making plans to do better this year."

    He says some of the buses that failed last summer's state inspection were never intended to transport Gary school children and are no longer being used for the school district.

    But on a recent visit to Gary, 13 Investigates found many of the Illinois Central buses that failed the state inspection are transporting children to and from school.

    Bus 504, which was cited by state police for serious brake and steering problems, transports Kerance Jackson to the Banneker Achievement Center elementary school.

    Jackson's mother hadn't heard anything about the bus' troubled past.

    "Wow. That's terrible. I really just want to go snatch my son off the bus right now," said Keturah Jackson, after seeing a long list of Out of Service violations for the district's school bus contractor.

    Mest, who recently joined the bus company, says new management has been hired to ensure better compliance with state safety rules.

    "We learned some important lessons. We know our next inspection is coming in June and I am confident we're going to have a very strong inspection," Mest said.

    Warren Township Schools offered a vague statement suggesting it is taking action following its poor inspection this spring.

    "In response to the bus inspection data given to us by the Indiana State Police we are diligently looking at ways to improve upon our current maintenance practices and processes," wrote M.S.D. Warren Township media relations director Dennis Jarrett. He offered no specifics and did not respond to repeated requests by WTHR to explain why so many buses were placed Out of Service. He did, however, point out all of the school district's buses were eventually approved by ISP.

    Kids at risk

    It's a fact that poorly-performing school districts and bus companies like to point out after they suffer through a miserable inspection: buses placed out of service are not allowed to transport students until they are fixed, and many problems cited by ISP are fixed quickly.

    The problem is, most buses are only inspected once a year, and school districts know ahead of time when it's happening. Yet on inspection day -- the one day you would expect every Indiana school bus to be in the safest condition possible -- state police are still finding some school districts with 20-, 40-, even 50-percent of their buses that fail inspection.

    "I think it boils down to maintenance, or a lack thereof," said Kath, shaking his head. "And I wonder how those people still have their jobs and how the school and the school board is allowing it to go on .... They have to know, you're putting a child at risk."

    Some school districts -- like Lawrence Township -- admit their maintenance program is not working.

    "This is totally unacceptable," said Lawrence Township Schools operations director Rodger Smith, when WTHR asked him about his school district's 40-percent Out of Service rate. "We're going to change what we're doing and how we're doing things."

    Smith says since the district's embarrassing inspection in March, there is now a greater focus on fixing all problems on a school bus each time the bus comes to the maintenance garage for service. (In the past, buses were not subjected to full inspections on a regular basis by school mechanics.) But that new policy is unlikely to make a significant dent in the school district's bus
    maintenance woes. Smith says his transportation budget has been cut by more than a million dollars annually because of property tax caps that have hit schools hard.

    "I'm not saying it's an excuse but it's a pressure all school districts are moving to right now. A lack of budget within our transportation department… think about what kind of pressures that puts on us." 

    Lawrence Township Schools responded to the pressure by cutting back on bus mechanics. It used to have seven. Now it has only four mechanics to maintain 200 buses. (That 50:1 bus-to-mechanic ratio is much higher than other area school districts.) Some of those mechanics are angry.

    "They've cut back on everything," one of the mechanics told WTHR. Several current and former mechanics talked to 13 Investigates. All asked Eyewitness News to withhold their identity for fear of retaliation by the school district. But they are speaking out because they believe fewer mechanics is resulting in more safety problems and more danger on school buses.

    "Stuff is happening that shouldn't be happening," said an M.S.D. Lawrence Township mechanic. "Brake chambers bad. Tie rods bad … that's the stopping of the bus. Maybe they are saving a little money, but you can't just put kids at risk."

    Eyewitness News has found the number of buses ordered out of service for serious safety violations statewide has jumped 35% over the past 5 years. In 2008, the last time WTHR analyzed Indiana bus inspection statistics, 10% of school buses had been placed Out of Service by state inspectors. The current analysis of all statewide bus inspections shows 13.5% of inspected buses were ordered Out of Service from January 2012 through March 2013.

    "We do see a lot of it," Kath said. "It makes you scratch your head sometimes. Our job is to inspect the buses. It's not to be their maintenance department and to tell them what problems they need to fix. It can be frustrating."

    Nothing to hide

    Other school districts boast very low Out of Service rates. Their school buses seem to sail through state inspections.

    Last week, ISP inspectors completed an annual inspection on 39 Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school buses in less than two hours. Only a single bus failed the inspection when a transmission fluid line burst as inspectors looked under the hood.

    "They do things the right way and you can tell that right away," Kath said. "Just about every one of their buses was approved."

    The district's superintendent says that's no coincidence.

    "We expect 100%," said Matt Prusiecki. "We're not waiting for problems to happen. We try to plan and prevent as opposed to respond and react. It's worked well for us."

    The school district has routinely maintained an Out Of Service rate between 2- and 7-percent.

    It has two mechanics for 39 buses, and that ratio allows for routine maintenance instead of only focusing on emergency repairs.

    While Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson permitted WTHR into its maintenance garage and granted full access to watch and videotape its annual inspections, many other school districts would not grant 13 Investigates any access to their facilities.

    "If they're doing things right, there should be nothing to hide," Kath said.

    Violations kept quiet

    So how will you know if school bus safety violations are up – and maintenance is down – at your child's school district … or if it's just the opposite?

    Chances are, you won't. (Actually you will if you keep reading.)

    School districts don't publish the information, and neither does Indiana State Police.

    ISP and the Indiana Department of Education began working to develop an online school bus inspection program in 2006. Back then, the state agencies told WTHR the program was supposed to provide parents access to bus inspection reports for their children's school buses. Seven years later, IDOE has pulled out of the project and ISP says it isn't sure if – or when – such a database will be ready for the public.

    "I wish I could give you a timeframe but I can't," said ISP Sgt. Dave Bursten.

    ISP has been working with a private company to establish a hand-held electronic inspection system. Compared to paper and pencil inspection forms, the new system has made school bus inspections far more efficient for state troopers. But the focus of the system has been to help inspectors -- not to make school bus records more accessible to the public.

    "Keep in mind, our goal here is not to create something for the public. That is a by-product. Our goal is to create a tool for conducting thorough, efficient, robust school bus inspections as we are required to do by state law," Bursten said.

    "Parents should see that" 

    Many parents, school officials, private bus companies, and even state police inspectors say more public access to school bus inspections is a good idea.

    "I would like to be told. I would definitely like to be told what's happening with the bus," said Keturah Jackson.

    "I as a parent want to know how my child's bus is maintained," agreed Trooper Kath.

    Illinois Central also favors heightened public access to inspection records and welcomes the idea of online reporting. "It was hard to even find the inspection results for our own company," Mest told WTHR. "We support full transparency and think it's appropriate to share full results."

    "I think parents should see that information. Of course, they want to know," added Mabry.

    Rick Pederson, transportation director for Center Grove Schools, says school districts should be on board, as well.

    "Parents have a right to know what their child is being transported on and what the condition of that vehicle is. If it was my child, I'd want to be certain that bus was safe before I put my child on that bus. Yeah, I think it's a good idea."

    That's why 13 Investigates has created an online school bus inspection tool. 
  • WTHR's searchable database includes information on every bus from every school district in Indiana. You'll find recent inspection data on public schools buses, private schools buses -- even daycare buses and after-school program buses, too.
    For the first time, it's all online and all in one place. Take a moment to check the buses in your school district, and to compare its Out of Service rate to other districts around the state.
  • Article Online:  http://www.wthr.com/story/22238574/13-investigates-uncovers-school-bus-safety-records




  •  
     
    Article courtesy of:  Bill Hanna @ Star-Telegram.com

    As his mother watched in horror, Haven Lee Norton screamed as a school bus  rolled over him Monday morning.  “Then he went silent,” said Shannon Norton, Haven’s mother.

    The driver of the Springtown (Texas) school district bus didn’t hear her son as she drove over him, killing the 10-year-old, Shannon Norton said.  She told her son to cross in front of the bus, as he did every morning, while the lights were flashing and another child was getting on the bus, she said.  

    “I saw him slip,” Norton said. “He hollered, but [the bus] started rolling and [the driver] had taken her foot off the brake. He tried to get out of the way. He hollered, and I hollered.”

     The Texas Department of Public Safety is still investigating the accident. Evidence at the scene showed the boy was apparently struck by both a front and rear tire, said Trooper Gary Rozzell, a DPS spokesman.  When the accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. at 121 Hilltop Meadows, between Springtown and Azle, it was already light, Norton said.  The bus driver usually had her window down so she could communicate with parents and children, but the window was rolled up Monday morning.
    “If she had her window down, she would have been able to hear,” Norton said.  “I put my kid on that bus in her possession. It’s her job to protect my children and she took my child’s life because she wasn’t aware of her surroundings.”
     
    Rozzell said the bus driver “stopped the bus and activated the lights” as she stopped to pick up another child across the street.
    “The boy came up beside the bus as she deactivated the lights,” Rozzell said. “The bus started to pull forward, and the boy couldn’t get out of the way, and was struck.”  At the time, there were four children and another bus driver on the bus,
    Rozzell said.

    Haven, a fourth-grader at Springtown Elementary School, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Driver placed on leave
    The bus driver, whose name wasn’t released, voluntarily submitted to drug and alcohol testing afterward, which is school district policy, Rozzell said.  She has been placed on administrative leave, said Springtown school district Superintendent Mike Kelley.
    “It’s standard operating procedure to place the driver on administrative leave and evaluate the situation — see where she is emotionally,” Kelley said. “I’d have a hard time knowing when I’d want to come back.”

    Kelley described the driver as “a wonderful lady” who’s had a good driving record as a bus driver.  “She’s done a great job for us the last two years,” Kelley said. Counselors were at the school Monday and will return Tuesday. Several ministers volunteered to help, and six area school districts offered counselors, Kelley said. Kelley said this was the first fatality that he knew of involving a Springtown school bus.

    ‘He loved going to school’ Norton said her son had been riding the bus for the last two weeks because one of the family’s cars had broken down. His 7-year-old sister also rides the bus but she stayed home on Monday, Norton said. She had recently met with school officials who reported that Haven had “caught up” to his fellow fourth-graders after moving to Springtown from Florida
    last September. “He loved going to school, he loved his classmates,” Shannon Norton said. Norton said her son was also involved at Country Cowboy Church in Bridgeport, where their family worshipped. “He knew Jesus, he loved the outdoors, loved to fish with his Papi and his uncles and he loved to play with his uncles and his cousins,” Norton said. “He was just an awesome child.”
     
    Before living in Florida, the family had resided in California. His mother plans to have a memorial service locally, but will have his remains cremated so she can eventually take his ashes to California. “He loved Texas, but he grew up in California,” she said. “California is his  home.”
     
    Investigators checked the bus to see if the lights and brakes were working properly and found no issues. It was released back to the school district. Rozzell said.
     
    Article Online:  http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/13/4847091/boy-dies-after-being-run-over.html#storylink=cpy
     
     
    Courtesy of:  ABC15.com

    LAVEEN, AZ - Video from inside a school bus shows just how long  a  4-year-old boy with special needs was left
    alone
    , and overlooked,  after being taken to school last week.

    The surveillance footage was obtained Wednesday by ABC15, and it shows Floyd Smith left on the bus by himself for 11 minutes.

    Jennifer Ponce said her son, Floyd Smith, got on the school bus around 11:30 a.m. April 22 to attend the preschool program at Laveen Elementary School.  The video shows the bus on the way to the bus school yard after it left Floyd's school. The 4-year-old fell asleep and never got off, overlooked by both the bus driver and bus aide.

    After about six minutes of being left alone, Floyd can be seen in the video, poking his head around a seat and appearing confused.

    "At one point, he gets up and looks around and is clearly bewildered by the fact he's alone on that bus," said  Rudy  Resendez Jr ., the family attorney.

    After several more minutes, a third school worker can be seen entering the bus, spotting Floyd, but not getting the boy any help. Instead,  the employee walked to the back of the bus and continued working.

    "T  his employee, unfortunately, did not remove him from the bus but went about his business of putting the car seats 
    into the other seats in the bus," said Resendez.  About five minutes later, the worker got off the bus and went to  get another
    employee to help the young boy.

    "I  think it clearly shows more training is necessary," said Resendez.

    “It’s hard to imagine that someone would leave a child on the bus for even a split second or forget about him,” said Ponce.

    At 1 p.m., the school left Ponce a voicemail informing her that her son never  arrived to class, 30 minutes after class started. Around 1:26 p.m., she received a second voicemail saying her son had been found after being left on the school bus.

    Ponce said her son is in special education for speech and other problems and unable to provide any answers himself.

    In a statement, the school district spokesperson Karen Menge said:

    We take the safety of our students very seriously. We immediately started a thorough investigation into this incident. 
    The transportation employees involved were placed on administrative leave. All transportation employees have been reminded of their responsibilities and the requirement to follow all procedures without exception. 
     

    We have and will continue to review our transportation procedures to ensure a safe delivery of our students. 
     
    Menge told ABC15 the district policy states transportation workers are supposed to inspect the bus for any children before
    workers get off.

    Menge said the school district has approximately 2649 students in the district that are eligible to ride a bus

    Article & Video Online: 
    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/laveen/boy-left-on-school-bus-video-4-year-old-with-special-needs-left-alone-on-laveen-school-bus
     
     
    Courtesy of:  Helen Freund, NOLA.com | The Times-PicayuneThe Times-Picayune

    A 16-year-old girl was raped in the back of a school bus on Monday, New Orleans police said. According to a
    preliminary police report released on Thursday morning, the girl, a student, told police officers she was sexually assaulted by a male student on the bus about 1:21 p.m. in the
    4300 block of Almonaster Avenue.

    According to the report, the girl told police that she was on the bus with one other male student and that they were the only remaining passengers, but that a bus driver was present and driving the bus.

    The girl told police that the male student approached her and sexually assaulted her, before exiting the bus when it arrived at his stop. The girl did not tell the bus driver about the assault, police said, and exited the bus when it came to her stop.

    On Wednesday, the girl reported the rape to the guidance counselor at her school and police said that they know who the suspect is and are actively investigating the case. 

    It was not immediately clear where the two students involved attended school but the address listed in the police report matches that of Crescent Leadership Academy. A call to the school for comment was not immediately returned.

    Police said no arrests have been made yet and no further information is available.


    Article Online:  http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/05/16-year-old_girl_raped_in_new.html

     
     
     
    Courtesy of Gus Rosendale @ NBCNewYork.com

    Parents in Newark, N.J., are outraged after finding out a 3-year old boy was left alone on a bus for hours.

    A 3-year-old New Jersey boy who was reported missing when he failed to show up to school Tuesday morning was found sleeping on the bus that was supposed to drop him off, officials said.

    The boy's mother said she received a call from the McKinley School in North Ward, N.J., saying her child had not arrived at school, officials said. She told officials her son had been placed on the bus that morning.

    That's when the school contacted the bus company, and workers checked the bus. The boy was found sleeping on a seat, according to school officials.

    Officials said the bus driver and an aide were fired by the private bus company, Belair, which operates in Orange, N.J.. The company declined to comment.

    Video/Articles Online: 
    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-Jersey-3-Year-Old-Boy-Left-Sleeping-Bus-North-Ward-McKinley-205497191.html

    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/04/3-year-old_boy_goes_missing_fo.html
     
     
    Courtesy of:  Erin Kourkounis @ PNJ.com

    A group of Santa Rosa school bus drivers is expected to bring concerns about bus safety and working conditions at Durham School Services to the Santa Rosa School Board Thursday.

    During the board’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, members will decide whether to grant Durham a five-year contract to operate district transportation. 

    In a forum organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union last week in Bagdad, Durham drivers in Milton, Pace and Navarre aired their concerns about workplace safety. 

    Their concerns ranged from fluid leaks to mold on buses and drivers going to work sick because they cannot afford to take time off. Some drivers say they are yelled at or ignored by supervisors when they bring up concerns. 

    About 210 Santa Rosa school bus drivers and monitors work for Durham, the second-largest school bus company in the country and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC, a multinational transportation company based in the United Kingdom.

    Article Online: 
    http://www.pnj.com/article/20130424/NEWS01/130424017/Santa-Rosa-school-bus-drivers-bring-concerns-School-Board
     
     
    Courtesy of:  Lynn Moore @ MLIVE.com

    Drivers reminded of school bus laws in wake of serious accident (video)

    MUSKEGON, MI -- Drivers may think they know traffic laws regarding school buses.

    But after a student was critically injured Thursday while trying to board a Coopersville school bus Thursday, this is as good a time as any for a refresher course.

    To help drivers understand rules when approaching or traveling behind school buses, the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District made an instructional video last year.

    It reminds drivers that they may pass a school bus when it has its yellow flashers on -- lights that are activated 200 feet before a bus stop. But once those flashers turn red, drivers must stop until they are turned off. That goes for drivers approaching buses in the opposite direction unless they are on a roadway with a center median.

    On Thursday, a 15-year-old student was struck as he crossed the street to board a Coopersville school bus in Ottawa County's Wright Township. The driver failed to stop for the bus's red flashers, saying she had thought they were still yellow.

    The teen, Jovanni Viveros-Villa, was taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in critical condition.

    Email Lynn Moore at lmoore8@mlive.com or follow her on Twitter: @LynnSMoore

    Article/Video Online:  http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/04/drivers_reminded_of_school_bus.html