Lawmakers restore funding for school buses
California lawmakers are getting high marks for their decision to restore funding for school buses. The state legislature agreed to restore $248 million for home-to-school transportation. School busing was among the services eliminated when the state was forced to make emergency budget cuts back in December. More
US to decide next year whether to have rules for crash avoidance systems
Detroit Free Press Share
Federal safety regulators will decide next year whether to begin making rules governing technology that enables vehicles to electronically avoid collisions, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. "We have been working on this notion for over a decade," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said of emerging technology that allows vehicles to send signals to one another. More
Diesel report's publication delayed as industry demands to see documents first
The Washington Post Share
Publication of a landmark government study probing whether diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in miners already 20 years in the making has been delayed by industry and congressional insistence on seeing study data and documents before the public does. A federal judge has affirmed the right of an industry group and a House committee to review the materials and has held the Department of Health and Human Services in contempt for not producing all of them. More
National Transportation Safety Board releases report on fatal school bus accident
On August 5, 2010, a four vehicle accident occurs on Interstate 44 in Gray Summit, Mo. Involved in the wreck are a truck tractor, pickup truck and two school buses from the St. James School district. Two teenagers died that day; the driver of the pickup truck and a student on one of the buses. Thirty-eight other people were injured. The National Transportation Safety Board took 17 months to release its final report from its investigation. The NTSB concluded that the wreck likely started because of distracted driving. Investigators believe the driver of the pickup may have been texting while driving. More
California passes new auto emission rules
San Francisco Chronicle Share
Seeking to influence other states and Washington, California air regulators recently passed sweeping auto emission standards that include a mandate to have 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on state roads by 2025. The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the new rules that require that one in seven of the new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. More
Seat belts in all school buses? Experts debate if it should be state law
Daily Herald Share
Seat belts recently prevented a school bus rollover near Sugar Grove, Ill., from turning into a catastrophe, police said. The nine special education students and two adults aboard survived with minimal injuries, and some continued on to their school, Krejci Academy in Naperville, after treatment. The crash is reviving a familiar debate over whether school buses should be equipped with seat belts. More
Traffic jam economics
The New York Times Share
Sometimes, trying to get someplace faster, we end up slowing one another down. Traffic jams try our patience, waste our time and worsen the quality of our air. More
Students praised for help on bus
The Daily Nonpareil Share
An Omaha, Neb., school bus driver recently passed out behind the wheel with 22 children on board but all the students escaped unharmed through the back exit after the bus rolled to a stop. Luann Nelson, director of communications for Omaha Public Schools, praised the efforts of two sixth-grade girls aboard the bus, crediting them helping the 20 other students off the bus through the rear emergency exit. She said students practice bus-evacuation plans twice a year, and the sixth-grade girls followed proper procedures. More
Distracted driving video game to premiere at Teen Driving Summit
There is a new tool to fight distracted driving among teens. The University of Minnesota has developed an online video game called "Distraction Dodger." In the game, players drive a virtual pizza delivery truck. The goal is to deliver pizzas as fast as possible while being tempted with distractions like eating and using a cellphone. The game then gives feedback on how you're doing. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood is calling the game a "valuable new tool for fighting distracted driving that delivers its message in a fun and interactive way." More
Proposed law steps up schools' responsibility for school bus bullies
A new anti-bullying law before Ohio Gov. John Kasich would require schools to address bullying that happens on school buses. It's a move a Muskingum County family said is very needed. More
Survey says: Flying is no fun
MSNBC News Share
A new survey confirms what most travelers already know: Modern air travel can be stressful, frustrating and exhausting. "Air travel has lost its spark," said Tom Rossbach, director of aviation architecture for HNTB, the architecture, engineering and construction company that commissioned the survey. "Going to the airport just isn't as glamorous as it used to be. Now it's just a chore." More
Drunk drivers: Congress gets behind breath-test ignition devices
Los Angeles Times Share
An effort to get more states to require convicted drunk drivers to test their breath for alcohol before they can start their cars is gaining support in Congress. A House transportation bill recently unveiled would offer additional highway funds to states that require ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders. A similar measure is expected to come before the Senate. More
Roundabouts emerging as the ideal intersection between driver safety and efficiency
Quite simply, roundabouts provide drivers an efficient, safer alternative to traditional four-way intersections governed by stop signs or traffic signals, says David Noyce, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of civil and environmental engineering. "In typical traffic engineering, there's a tradeoff between safety and operations. Generally, 'safe' equals 'inefficient,'" he says. "Our research has shown roundabouts offer benefits in both of these." More
Meet Us in the Land of Blues & BBQ!
Save the dates for our 38th NAPT Annual Conference & Trade Show, which will be held in Memphis, Tenn., from Oct. 20-25, 2012.
This year's Summit will feature 50 different workshops, live action special events, a 100,000-square-foot trade show with 150 vendors, and top notch speakers like Melinda Jacobs, a renowned attorney who specializes in special education law. Learn more about her at www.mbairdlaw.com.
Visit us online (www.napt.org) and watch for updates on the program and see why getting to the NAPT Summit should be at the top of your "to-do list" in 2012.
Join us — we'll have something for everyone!
Melinda Jacobs is an attorney in private practice who has worked in the field of special education law since 1985. Since 1996, she has exclusively represented school systems in special education matters pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and related laws. Jacobs formerly served as an attorney in the Office of Special Education Programs for the Tennessee Department of Education and as Associate Publisher for Education and Disability Publications for LRP Publications.
In addition to national, state and local presentations, Jacobs has authored several publications and articles on special education law, and has written and produced a series of audiotapes and videotapes on the implementation of the laws governing the provision of special education and related services.
Jacobs is a member of the Special Education School Attorneys Advisory Council, and serves as Chairperson of the LRP National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Students with Disabilities. Her "down to earth" and practical presentation style, combining humor and song, makes legal information accessible and understandable for educators, parents and other professionals in the field.