NAPT MultiView News Brief
Mar. 20, 2012

Fatal bus accident reignites seat belt debate
VideoBriefA recent bus tragedy reignited the debate that has been going on across the country for years: Should school buses have seat belts? Indiana falls in the category of most states. There aren't any seat belt requirements on large buses, but six states do mandate them. Gov. Mitch Daniels said it may be time for Indiana legislators to reexamine the issue.More

Regulators argue banning embedded electronics will lead to other distractions for drivers
Detroit Free Press
Federal regulators proposing nonbinding rules for embedded electronic distractions in automobiles recently heard concerns that the regulations could encourage drivers to use more risky portable devices while behind the wheel. "It does seem likely that drivers will use other devices not subject to the guidelines," said Mike Cammisa, director of safety for Global Automakers.More

Mass transit use rises as gas prices soar
Ridership on the nation's trains and buses hit one of the highest levels in decades, with officials crediting high gas prices, a stronger economy and new technology that makes riding public transit easier. In 2011, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on mass transit — which includes buses, trains, street cars and ferries, according to the American Public Transportation Association.More

Boulder Valley, Colo., incentive program reduces driving to school
Boulder Daily Camera
Looking for ways to get more students to walk, bike or ride the bus to school, Boulder Valley's Peter Hurst decided to make it worth their while. Hurst, the district's interim student transportation coordinator, came up with an incentive program called Trip Tracker. Students earn "dollars" based on the number of times they walk, bike, carpool or ride a bus to school. The dollars can be spent at child-friendly businesses, such as Gateway Fun Park, Two Spoons and Lucky's Market. "It's a real winner," said Hurst. "We're really making an impact."More

Answer to energy challenges: 'All of the above'
U.S. Department of Transportation Fastlane
The Department of Transportation knows that gas prices are rising again, as they did last year. And they know that families across the country are feeling the pinch. While there is no silver bullet to solve this challenge immediately, the DOT says there are a lot of things we can do to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and provide Americans with affordable transportation to their jobs and schools. And, as President Barack Obama recently said, we're not limiting ourselves to just one of those strategies; to ease Americans' pain at the pump, we're using "an all-of-the-above approach."More

New film takes an intimate look at school bullying
In the following interview, Robert Siegel talks with Director Lee Hirsch about his new documentary Bully. The film follows several middle and high school students who are victims of bullying. Recently, the Motion Picture Association of America gave Bully an R-rating for its language content. Almost 300,000 people so far have signed an online petition asking the MPAA to change the rating to a PG-13. Hirsch talks about the ratings controversy and the film.More

Senate passes 2-year transportation bill
The New York Times
The Senate easily approved a two-year, $109 billion transportation and infrastructure bill on March 14, putting pressure on House Republicans to set aside their stalled version and pass the Senate's before the federal highway trust fund expires at the end of the month.More

Hedging your frequent flyer miles
The business of frequent flyer miles is a big game; an often complex puzzle that is intended not so much to reward loyalty as to encourage it. Being blindly loyal to one program in the process of building your bank of points or miles can mean ending up with more expensive flights and less convenient connections. That's why some experts — very frequent flyers, bargain hunters and industry analysts — have developed hedging strategies.More

Bill to require booster seats takes first step in state Senate
KTAR Radio
A bill that would require children between the ages of 5 and 8 or who are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to ride in booster seats took its first step March 14 in the state Senate, winning a unanimous endorsement from the Public Safety and Human Services Committee. Arizona is one of three states that don't require booster seats despite the National Transportation Safety Board recommending law.More

Schumer: Grade buses on safety
Times Union
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., recently announced a plan to crack down on poorly performing bus carrier companies who primarily specialize in low cost transit. Schumer's bill would require bus companies to display a viewable letter grade safety rating which would allow consumers to make educated decisions on who they travel with. More

Old school bus becomes training tool
Santa Maria Times
No longer serviceable, Donna Rainwater's aging Bluebird school bus should have ended up in a scrap yard. But firefighters from the Lompoc Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Fire Department 51 saw a use. So did the Lompoc SWAT team. Several dozen bus drivers crowded around to watch emergency drill scenarios run by police and firefighters on the decommissioned bus at the Lompoc Unified School District bus yard in Lompoc, Calif.More

Drunk driving enforcement campaign targets tech-savvy motorists
Hundreds of bars and restaurants in Michigan will be serving drinks on "technically advanced" coasters that will help motorists easily find a safe, sober ride home. The coasters will feature a QR code that when scanned with a smart phone app will display a list of local cab companies and their phone numbers. It's all part of a spring drunk driving enforcement campaign designed by the Office of Highway Safety Planning.More

New law clears the way for airports to drop TSA screeners
The New York Times
A new law makes it easier for airports to replace federal screeners with private contractors, and several airports, after years of passenger complaints, are lining up to make the change. More