NAPT MultiView News Brief
Dec. 20, 2011

Attention all last minute shoppers...
NAPT
If you are still scrambling to find holiday gifts, here's a great holiday gift idea from your friends at NAPT — our 13-Month calendar of National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) Posters!

For just $10 (including FREE shipping) the 2012 calendar of NSBSW poster winners is a fun way to help everyone (especially YOU) be more organized next year. This colorful, easy-to-write-on calendar features state and national conference dates so you can keep track of important industry events. Office mates and relatives alike are sure to appreciate the safety messages and enjoy the talent exhibited in this calendar. (Dimension — closed: 10.5" W x 8" L).

Student artwork is created each year to celebrate National School Bus Safety Week. The NSBSW POSTER theme for 2012 is "Stand Back from the Yellow and Black." Students may draw the theme from Sept 2011 to September 2012. School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 22-26, 2012.

To order please go to our website at www.napt.org and click on the Online Store tab or email lynn.martin@napt.org.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!More

School bus driver teaches safety with a beat
SnoValley Star
Portly and with a long white beard, Chuck Smith resembles someone he’s quite familiar with, Santa Claus. Add his red cap to the picture and he resembles Denver Pyle, the actor who played Uncle Jesse in the old "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV show. Twist that cap to the right and he becomes someone else entirely: He becomes Chuck Smith, the school bus-driving rapper. "He's really funny and cool and stuff," said seventh-grader Julia Carroll at Twin Falls Middle School, where Smith begins his route early every morning.More

Smaller students to face weigh-ins
The Chronicle Herald
Halifax-area schools will begin weighing and measuring smaller elementary school students next month to see if they must use a booster seat on the school bus. Children who are under age nine and also smaller than four-foot-nine and 40 pounds must be secured in a child restraint system, similar to a car booster seat, when riding on the school bus, provincial regulations say. Transport Canada makes the same recommendation, although it isn't law.More

5 tips for digital communication in the new year
eSchool News
With a new year approaching, it's a great opportunity to re-evaluate what's working — and what's not — in your classroom, school or district communications program. The following are five tips to power better communications and community relations in 2012, plus some thoughts to ponder as we enter a new era in public school choice.More

US transportation fatalities estimated at 34,925 in 2010
National Transportation Safety Board
Despite an overall downward trend in transportation fatalities in the United States, estimates for 2010 released by the National Transportation Safety Board reveal a rise in several categories, including motorcycles, medium and heavy trucks, buses, rail and pipeline. The deadly natural gas pipeline accident in San Bruno, California, that killed eight people and was investigated by the NTSB, contributed to the rise in pipeline fatalities. "Though the NTSB continues to advocate for changes to address human factors, equipment and infrastructure improvements to prevent crashes, we continue to see far too many deaths each year," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.More

Experts: States will continue to put brakes on cellphone bans
CNN
The National Transportation Safety Board's big, bold stroke encouraging all states to prohibit drivers from using cellphones faces a long, tortuous process in the nation's statehouses, said experts. This political reality stands out: Since states began legislating distracted driving or cellphone use in 2000, none has gone so far as to impose a complete ban on mobile devices behind the wheel, and only one state — Alaska — has considered such a blanket prohibition, just this year, said Anne Teigen, senior policy specialist with National Conference of State Legislatures.

Click here for more data from related surveys behind NTSB's move.More

California school districts decry end to busing funds
Times-Standard
School districts throughout California are scrambling to cover the elimination of $248 million in funding for school buses starting next month, with the state's largest district filing a lawsuit to block the cuts and others saying they'll have to use reserves in order to keep transportation service. "It's an incredibly unfair way to go about this," said Marc Johnson, superintendent of Sanger Unified School District, which covers 185-square miles in the Central Valley and where some two-thirds of students take buses to school.More

This holiday season, drive sober or get pulled over
Department of Transportation Fastlane
With the holidays upon us, millions of Americans are taking to the road. Across the country folks are enjoying time-honored traditions like office parties with colleagues, visits with friends and trips home to celebrate with family. But wherever our holiday traditions take us, driving sober must be part of the plan.More

Research shows hands-free phones just as risky
The Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle
When someone is talking to you, your brain is listening, processing and thinking about what's being said — even if you're in the driver's seat trying to concentrate on traffic. That's why drivers get distracted during cellphone conversations, even when using hands-free phones, researchers say.More

GOP threatens to delay Senate bus, truck safety bill
Politico
Senate Republicans Wednesday threatened to delay bus and truck safety legislation after an "eleventh hour" addition to the measure by Commerce Committee Democrats. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and other Republicans are angry that a national freight policy bill was tacked on to the safety measure without notice Dec. 9. More

Holiday travel expected to hit 5-year high
Central Florida News
Are you one of the 84 million Americans getting ready to hit the road for the holidays? That's how many travelers AAA has predicted will take to the highways during one of the year's busiest travel seasons. That's a 1.4 percent increase from last year. It's also the highest in five years, and the second highest in the last decade.More

Paint Valley schools honor bus driver for actions in fatal crash
The Chillicothe Gazette
The review of an Oct. 5 fatal crash involving a Paint Valley, Ohio school bus and a car revealed the crash could have been an even greater tragedy if not for the bus driver's quick actions. The school community paid tribute to that driver, Mark Anderson, during a recent ceremony at Paint Valley's boys basketball game. With the school's ROTC cadets marching in an honor formation, Anderson walked from the bleachers to the gym floor to receive an Award of Merit from the Paint Valley Board of Education.More

Ohio company is testing device to improve bus safety
Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
Steve Frazee is one of the owners of the C.E. White Company in New Washington, Ohio. He is excited about the 74-year-old company's latest endeavor — it could end up saving the lives of students across the nation. The company is testing its MDZ (minimize danger zone) Shield for evaluation across the United States. It was designed is to protect students who get too close to the wheels of school buses.More

ABCs of car tech: Safety tech
CNET
Antuan Goodwin writes, "This week, we'll be taking a look at the unsung heroes of the automotive industry. Some of this hardware could save your life in the event of a crash, while other elements are there to keep you from dinging up your paint job in the first place. That's right. This week, I'll be explaining passenger safety tech."More

NHTSA proposes standardizing keyless ignition systems
The Detroit News
The Obama administration proposed standardizing keyless ignition controls — and to require audible warnings for drivers who fail to use the push-button system properly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a proposed regulation released recently that it wants to mandate noise warnings for drivers who try to turn off their vehicles before putting them in park, exiting vehicles without moving them to park or exiting a vehicle without first turning the car off.More

Big-hearted Texas bus driver takes children on detour to Festival of Trees
The Lufkin Daily News
A school bus driver has plenty of responsibility. Operating a vehicle of that size is hard enough, but add early morning routes that include the far reaches of the district, and the charge of keeping up with more than 40 kids, and the responsibility mounts. Lufkin ISD driver Robert Hunt doesn't mind. In fact, Hunt added even more responsibility to his plate when he arranged a field trip recently for the students he takes home on his bus.More