NAPT MultiView News Brief
March 29, 2011

Leading anti-bullying advocate to speak at NAPT Summit
NAPT
Jodee Blanco, known as "The voice of America's bullied students," has agreed to partner with NAPT and make a keynote presentation at the 37th Annual NAPT Summit later this year.

"NAPT has been at the forefront of efforts by the school transportation industry to prevent bullying from the start. They are renowned for their commitment to student safety and security in all respects," Blanco said. "I am excited to work with them and look forward to helping them continue to lead the way."

Blanco is the author of The New York Times bestseller, "Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman's Inspirational Story." A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation's schools and swiftly is becoming an American classic. Referred to by many as "the anti-bullying bible," it is required reading in hundreds of middle and high schools and numerous universities throughout the country. "Please Stop Laughing at Me . . ." also has been recognized as an essential resource by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and Teacher Magazine.

Teens, teachers, parents and other adult survivors of peer abuse have embraced Blanco as the champion of their cause. Her acclaimed bullying prevention program — It's NOT Just Joking Around!™ — has been presented to more than 500,000 students, teachers and parents nationwide at the behest of The United States Department of Interior, The United States Department of Justice and The National Catholic Educational Association. Hundreds of local school districts have adopted her initiatives as part of their core bullying prevention curriculum. It's NOT Just Joking Around!™ also has generated tens of thousands of dollars in grant awards for schools and organizations coast to coast.

Don't miss her compelling keynote presentation — and the chance to get a personalized autographed copy of her book — Oct. 24 in Cincinnati at the NAPT Annual Summit.More

City's design, transit system can ease gas costs
USA Today
Some cities in the USA are better positioned to deal with rising gas prices than others because of their design and transit systems, according to a national nonprofit group that works to build stronger cities. The key factor: whether residents have to drive everywhere, or have other options.More

Ordinary Americans perform extraordinary acts in fight to end distracted driving
Department of Transportation Fastlane
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood writes, "Recently, I've been pleased to note a promising trend in the fight to end distracted driving. We're now seeing more and more stories featuring everyday Americans reaching out to their peers and communities to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting or using a cell phone while driving." More

NHTSA issues new child seat guidelines
Motor Trends Magazine
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with input from the American Academy of Pediatrics, has revised its child restraint guidelines. The most significant change to the guidelines is categorizing seats by the child's age rather than by type of child seat. More

NTSB forum to review progress of truck and bus safety
ThomasNet News
As part of its continued focus on large truck and bus safety, NTSB will convene public forum May 10-11 to review progress that has been made since NTSB held a series of public hearings on the matter in 1999-2000. Forum will be chaired by NTSB Board Member Robert L. Sumwalt and will focus on such issues as government oversight, carrier operations, driver training and licensing, driver safety and health, and enhanced vehicle safety technologies.More

Thomas achieves 0 waste-to-landfill
Trailer Body Builders
Thomas Built Buses says it has become the first school bus manufacturer to achieve Zero-Waste-to-Landfill operations, which means that everything received or produced by the company is used, reused, recycled or sold, and nothing is sent to the landfill. Using the company's Truck Operating System continuous improvement program, Thomas employee teams identified the best options for reducing waste and recycling each material, whether reusing cartons for shipping, reclaiming solvent, working with supplier partners to reduce packaging or turning waste into energy.More

How to fight back against devastating budget cuts
eSchool News
With 34 states making yet another wave of budget cuts in K-12 education, school children and their families are increasingly vulnerable as the Great Recession leaves the social safety net in tatters. Soon, even more public school employees likely will join the ranks of the unemployed. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 44 states plus the District of Columbia are eliminating, freezing or cutting their workforces. States and school districts also are mandating time off without pay, increasing insurance co-pays and enacting a host of other stringent cost-cutting measures.More

Federal regulators hear emotional testimony about back-over deaths
KING-TV
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently heard emotional testimonies on the need for back-up or rear-view cameras on vehicles. Survivors and parents of children who had been struck by backing up vehicles told NHTSA members their stories.More

DOT's stimulus payouts reach $26.7 billion
Journal of Commerce
The Department of Transportation is pushing more stimulus money out to states to reimburse them for completed infrastructure projects, with total payouts reaching nearly $26.7 billion as of March 11. That's up from $26.5 billion March 4 and $26.3 billion Feb. 25, reflecting DOT payments totaling nearly $200 million in each of the past two weeks. From Feb. 28 through March 11, the DOT paid out $521 million in stimulus project reimbursements, according to the Obama administration's Recovery.gov website.More

Portland, United Streetcar: Americans innovating, building for Americans
Department of Transportation Fastlane
President Barack Obama's bold vision for the future of American transportation system is important. "Out-innovating and out-building the rest of the world provides a clear path toward winning the future," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a recent blog post. That vision already is coming to life in Portland, Ore., at United Streetcar.More

RERC survey participants needed
NAPT
Researchers at the universities of Louisville and Pittsburgh are interested in the experience of school bus operators and attendants who transport students seated in wheelchairs! They are midway in their federally funded research project, which is supported by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Can you respond as a "hands-on" bus operator who drives specially equipped bus on a regular or part-time basis? Your participation in the online survey is anonymous, easy to use and can be completed in 15 minutes or less. The survey is expected to show differences in driver training, wheelchair securement practices and safety concerns across the country. To learn more about the research study and to determine if you are willing to participate, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/WheelchairsOnBuses.

To learn more about the NIDRR grant on wheelchair transportation safety, visit the project website at www.rercwts.org/.More