NAPT MultiView News Brief
Feb. 28, 2012

Thomas Built Buses is looking for school bus drivers who go the extra mile

Children can honor unsung heroes and win laptop computer in annual "Driver of the Year" essay contest

School bus drivers take seriously their charge to deliver their passengers to and from school safely and on time, but many of them literally go the extra mile. Thomas Built Buses asks: Do you know drivers who are making a difference?

Does your driver put in extra effort to make you feel secure on the bus? Or nurture a spirit of giving by helping organize food, toy and book drives? Does she know your name or start each day with a friendly greeting?

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are now invited to submit essays of at least 90 words to nominate their favorite school bus drivers. Through words and pictures, students can describe just what makes their school bus drivers so special. The child who nominates the grand prize winner will receive a laptop computer and $1,000 educational savings bond, and the nominated driver will receive a $1,000 Visa® gift card.

To enter the contest, visit www.thomasbus.com/contest for complete rules and an entry form. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2012.More

In Chardon, Ohio, the training paid off
The Columbus Dispatch
Students and teachers knew what to do recently when a gunman started shooting. "We've had a number of disaster drills in the past. Thank God we put those in place," Chardon school-district Superintendent Joseph Bergant II said. "We've been training for this."More

US Department of Transportation proposes 'distraction' guidelines for automakers
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced the first-ever federally proposed guidelines to encourage automobile manufacturers to limit the distraction risk for in-vehicle electronic devices. The proposed voluntary guidelines would apply to communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle.More

Gas prices rise 12 cents in past week
CNNMoney
Gas prices have gained 12 cents this week, as tensions over Iran heat up and oil prices keep moving higher. The price of unleaded gasoline shot up overnight by 3.5 cents to a nationwide average of $3.647, according to the motorist group AAA. That's the 17th consecutive day of increases.More

Airports get into the fitness craze for stressed travelers
USA Today
As the country becomes more conscious of its obesity problem, even airports are getting into the fitness craze. With delays and long layovers increasingly common, airports are offering travelers many alternatives to passing the hours on a bar stool.More

Love the Bus: this month and throughout the year, school buses deliver precious cargo safely
U.S. Department of Transportation Fastlane
"Love the Bus" celebrations are a terrific opportunity for teachers, school administrators, parents and students to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to the people who get 26 million children safely to and from schools in America each day. In fact, of the many ways students get to class across the country — walking, biking, riding in a parent's car, etc. — the familiar yellow school bus is the safest. That's why it's so important to take a moment to express our respect for the terrific job our school bus companies and mechanics and drivers do.More

Look, no hands! The driverless future of driving is here
CNN
Will there be a time in our lives when cars don't crash? When a Mustang can warn a BMW that it's changing lanes — or when we can just sit back and relax and our cars will drive themselves? Auto technology experts say "yes." And they say that some of those advances may happen quicker than you might think.More

Public school crime in the US on the decline
The Huffington Post
Violent crime at the nation's schools is declining, and students and schools are reporting less bullying and gang activity. But new government data reports an increase in cyber bullying and youth suicides. "Cyber bullying issue has really moved to center stage and that's probably the next major challenge that school officials and others will have to address," said Ron Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization.More

Education Department wants tweets from teachers and students
U.S. News & World Report via Yahoo News
February has been a busy month for K-12 education. On Feb. 1, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked it off by announcing that all U.S. schools should transition to digital textbooks within the next five years. On Feb. 9, President Barack Obama waived 10 states from No Child Left Behind. And on Feb. 13, the president proposed a 2013 budget that includes a $1.7 funding increase for education. Although these federal policy decisions may not seem directly connected to day-to-day classroom activities, the Department of Education is using Twitter to encourage teachers, administrators, parents and students to play a more active role.More

Gas tax falling short in paying for transportation needs
USA Today
This is important — if you drive or ride in an automobile, if you commute by bus, rail or bicycle, or if your loved ones do. The USA is at a critical juncture in how it pays for roads, bridges and transit. That's because the federal tax on gasoline, the primary method since 1956, has lost one-third of its buying power since it was last raised in 1993. "It no longer works as our primary source," said Jim Burnley, a Washington, D.C., transportation attorney who was transportation secretary for President Ronald Reagan. "We're going to have to figure out, as a country, other mechanisms."More

Welcome to the family: NHTSA adds 10-year-old crash test dummy
U.S. Department of Transportation Fastlane
Recently, NHTSA introduced the newest addition to the family of crash-test dummies — a 10-year-old. It is good news that manufacturers are making more car seats and boosters than ever before designed to keep older and heavier children safer on our roadways. But, that also means evaluating restraint systems for children in the 8- to 12-year-old age range has become increasingly important. HIII-10C gives us a great way to do that. More

White House: US to invest $14 million for algae biofuels
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Energy Department plans to invest $14 million to make transportation fuels out of algae, according to the White House. "We could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States," President Barack Obama said Feb. 23, in Miami during a speech on energy policy. "That means greater energy security" and a "stronger economy," he said.More

Save the date! 15th National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo
NAPT
March 9-11, 2012, Orlando, Fla.
The Roadeo is co-administered by Edupro Group and the National Association for Pupil Transportation, and held in conjunction with the National Conference on Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers. Visit www.eduprogroup.com for additional information.
Standard registration fee and Half-Time Option expire February 29.More