NAPT MultiView News Brief
Mar. 26, 2013

Vendor Spotlight: On the spot? Come to the spotlight

Business Partners are special members of NAPT. They provide expertise, products and services to the pupil transportation industry, helping to maintain and improve upon the safety and efficiency of operations and processes. Knowing who to call when you're on the spot is important.

To help you find solutions, we highlight our business partners in a scrolling logo format on the NAPT homepage every two weeks. Just click on the company logo to find out more.

Featured in our "Business Partner in the Spotlight" section are: BESI Inc./Tie Tech LLC; Cummins Inc.; Heavy Duty Bus Parts and Trans/Air Manufacturing. Their logos will be posted for the next few weeks, so please take a moment to become familiar with the products and services they offer.

BESI Inc./Tie Tech LLC ( is a supplier of OEM / Aftermarket school bus upholstery as well as seat belts, securements, RF heat sealed and fabricated products for an array of applications.

Cummins Inc. ( designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Heavy Duty Bus Parts ( started in 1968 as a school bus parts manufacturer and provides supplier direct prices for OEM and Aftermarket Parts. They provide same-day shipping and online ordering capability.

Trans/Air Manufacturing ( produces transportation air conditioning systems in the industry, setting standards regarding climate control in conventional, electric and hybrid buses and coaches.More

Parents want more security for school buses in Georgia
VideoBriefSome Atlanta Public School parents are calling for tougher security aboard district buses. They spoke out three days after a Sutton Middle School student brought a BB gun aboard a bus and shot two students. "That hit too close to home," said LaToya McIntosh. "My daughter was on that bus."More

The distracted American driver
The New York Times
Despite increasing media attention and laws forbidding the practice, more Americans than ever are using their cellphones to talk and send text messages while driving, a new study shows. According to the research, nearly 70 percent of Americans ages 18 to 64 said they had chatted on their phones while driving in the past 30 days, and about 30 percent said they had sent text messages while behind the wheel. Drivers in seven European countries were also included in the study, and the numbers showed that the practice appears to be far more common in the United States than overseas.More

Fleet tracking: Not Big Brother, just good business
By Ryan Driscoll
Some fleet managers are hesitant to implement a GPS fleet tracking solution for fear of employees thinking that "Big Brother is watching them." But employee perceptions are influenced greatly by how a GPS tracking initiative is presented internally. As such, this is an easy objection to overcome if management explains the benefits to the company and the employee. Here are a few specifics.More

Jury sides with school bus manufacturers in 2005 crash
The Kansas City Star
A Clay County, Kan., jury recently concluded that a Liberty school bus driver accidently pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, causing the massive vehicle to slam into a busy intersection, killing two motorists and critically injure two schoolchildren in 2005. That decision, after an eight-week civil trial in Liberty, meant no money for the families of three victims who had sued the manufacturers of the bus and its brake parts. They contended in the lawsuit that faulty brakes caused the May 9, 2005, crash.More

What is a bully? Pageant winner shares her personal story on school tour
The Christian Science Monitor
Bullies are most-often thought of in a physical sense, a person who pushes others around and uses his or her size advantage to strike fear into others. That kind of bullying continues today, and is joined by more subtle siblings that victimize many, and often without knowledge of those in positions to stop it. Miss Northeast Counties Mikaela Carson knows this first hand. The Overland Park, Kan., resident said she was on the receiving end of social bullying throughout school. Good family support, she said, helped her through it, but when a family friend committed suicide as a result of bullying, she began to understand how widespread and deep the problem was.More

Chicago schools to save $16 million on transportation
The State Journal-Register
Chicago Public Schools officials say they will save $16 million on student transportation for the year beginning July 1. Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett recently said the savings will come from changing bus schedules and routes. Byrd-Bennett says the money will be spent on classrooms. The bulk of the savings will come from adjusting the times school bells ring and a reduction in the number buses the district uses.More

Congress debates highway safety funding cuts
Budget battles on Capitol Hill could cost states federal money to fight distracted driving and to roll out graduated licenses for teen drivers. A measure recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, would cut funding for highway safety grants to states by $48.5 million. A Senate version, drafted by the chamber's top Democratic and Republican budget writers, would pay for all of the safety grants. The dispute comes in how to pay for a transportation law that Congress passed last summer.More

Trainer teaches school bus drivers safer driving techniques
The Eagle
Before putting Bryan, Texas, bus drivers through a series of simulation training exercises, instructor Larry Thornton recently offered some words of encouragement. "You're going to be put under pressure, I'm not going to lie to you," said Thornton. "But you're going to be surprised at how well you do. You're going to come out of here with your heads held high."More

GPS lets parents track their children's buses
The Salem News
Technology might not have all the answers, but a new service is promising to solve the age-old question many parents ask themselves on school-day afternoons: "Where's the bus?" Beverly Public Schools in Massachusetts is partnering with a new company to offer parents access to GPS technology that will track the location of school buses.More

NAPT Safety and Security Committee update
The NAPT Safety and Security Steering Committee recently met with the NAPT Executive Committee to discuss current issues and potential strategies for ensuring the safety of students on school buses. A project timeline and outline are in the works. For more information go to our Safety and Security webpage.More

Magical thinking about technology in education
The Washington Post
Few high-tech entrepreneurs, pundits, or booster of online learning, much less, policymakers, would ever say aloud publicly that robots and hand-held devices will eventually replace teachers. Yet many fantasize that such an outcome will occur. High-profile awards to entrepreneurs, the occasional cartoon, and advocates who dream of online instruction anywhere, anytime transforming education feed the fantasy. More

Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers know all navigation systems are not the same
U.S. Department of Transportation FastLane
If you're a commercial bus or truck driver using a GPS navigation system that doesn't tell you about important route restrictions — like low overpasses — that shortcut you take to save time and fuel could end up costing you more than you bargained for. The differences among navigation systems might seem small, but they can make a big difference in safety. Especially for those who drive commercial motor vehicles, a lack of information can leave you unprepared and can lead to dangerous incidents like crashing into the underside of a low-clearance bridge.More

USF students combat bullying through dance, not words
VideoBriefThere are no words in the video. "Movement is something we all do," explained USF dance student Brittany Williams. These University of South Florida dance majors believe their craft can be more powerful than language, expressing what many young people are put through at school. The seven minute, anti-bullying message created by USF Dance Professor Andrew Carroll is impacting children all over the United States and beyond. "The entire Los Angeles school district of over a thousand schools adopted it. Then it got picked up by "Bully No Way" in Australia and then Northern Ireland," said Professor Carroll. This is the type of media Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman says is worthwhile.More

Iowa tests school bus sensor systems
VideoBriefThe Janesville Consolidated School District is rolling out new school bus technology after a tragedy struck. Many vividly remember the smile of Justin Bradfield, 11, who died much too early. In October of 2011, Justin got off the school bus and crossed in front of it. The bus driver didn't see him and hit him. "Through that bus tragedy that happened at our school, there was more of an awareness that came about the safety of our kids out there." Crews installed child detection sensor systems on two buses within the past few weeks. Sensors are located all around the outside of the bus in in hard-to-see places. If a child is anywhere within four feet of the bus an alarm goes off inside to warn the driver.More

Rash of fatal teen wrecks puts focus on parents
USA Today
Twenty teenagers dead in five automobile crashes in five states — all within one week. A rash of deadly wrecks in Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Indiana and North Dakota, is a jarring reminder that vehicle crashes are still the No. 1 killer of U.S. teenagers, and that teen road deaths are rising fastest of all as the improving economy draws more traffic.More

Bullying on the school bus?
VideoBriefIt seems another north Iowa school district is having issues with their school buses this time surrounding bullying. "My son got pushed a couple of times and it was caught on tape twice," says Hector Munoz of Mason City. Munoz says he's not alone two other parents have told him their children are dealing with the same issues on the bus. He believes there needs to be a better monitoring system. More

One of the worst driving distractions on the road: Your children
ABC News
VideoBriefPeople have been caught doing all sorts things that distract them behind the wheel — from eating an ice cream cone to talking on a cellphone to driving drunk — but one of the worst distractions might be something parents do every day: driving with children in the backseat of the car. In a first-of-its-kind study, Australian researchers found that children are 12 times more distracting to the driver than talking on a cellphone while at the wheel. According to their findings, the average parent takes their eyes off the road for a staggering three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip.More

Connecticut school bus overcrowding case prompts call for more training
New Haven Register
Though officials recently called school bus overcrowding at West Haven High School a one-time incident, some say they want the district to look into driver training and guidelines. A parent and a Board of Education member complained at a recent meeting that students sat three to a seat, and on each other's laps because there were not enough buses to take them home. Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro said a mistake was made and the district spoke to Winkle Bus Co. about the problem, but agreed to look into policies and driver training related to seating. More