NAPT MultiView News Brief
Jan. 25, 2011

20th National Conference offers NAPT Special Needs Training (SNT) Program
Join your colleagues at the 20th National Conference & Exhibition of Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers in Kansas City, Mo., from March 11-16. All six courses of the NAPT Special Needs Training (SNT) Program are on the program.

In addition to the SNT program, take part in more than 40 presentations and observe or compete in the 14th Annual Special Needs Team Safety ROADEO. For more information on the NAPT SNT program go to

For more information on the Conference, go to or call (703) 288-4088. Early-bird registration has been extended to Feb. 4. Sign up now and save $100!More

Greatest risk in school travel is not on school buses
Travel Blueable
Children are at far more risk traveling to and from school in private passenger vehicles — especially if a teenage driver is involved — than in school buses, says a new report from the National Academies' Transportation Research Board. Bicycling and walking also place students at greater risk than traveling by school bus.More

High school tries going paperless in pilot program
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A Missouri school district is testing some paperless classrooms — using digital textbooks and taking notes, as well as tests, on computers. The district has purchased 20 Haipad Android electronic tablets for the program. If the test is successful, officials say they will request 400 more tablets.More

Employers tread a minefield
The Wall Street Journal
More companies are facing legal trouble as they try to navigate online social spaces and deal with how their employees use them. A former Georgia high school teacher is suing her district in what she claims was a forced resignation over a Facebook picture, while a medical-transport business may have broken the law by firing someone for complaining about work on Facebook. "For people who are ignoring this and don't think it's a prevalent issue in the workplace, they need to stop being naive," an employment lawyer said.More

Technology aids bus drivers on narrow shoulder lanes
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
A driver-assistive system developed by the Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory at the University of Minnesota's Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute integrates sensing, positioning and user-interface technologies to help bus drivers operate safely and comfortably on bus-only shoulder lanes — even in adverse weather conditions and heavy traffic. With funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Urban Partnership Agreement program, buses equipped with the DAS soon will provide express service between downtown Minneapolis and the city's southern suburbs. The project is a partnership between the IV Lab, the HumanFIRST Program in human factors research, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Schmitty and Sons Transportation.More

NHTSA fights for safety on all fronts
Department of Transportation Fastlane
Safety is the Department of Transportation's top priority. And when they say that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is laser focused on road safety, they mean across the board. Everyone knows the Department of Transportation has taken up the fight to end distracted driving. But just because they are now highlighting this emerging phenomenon does not mean that they have stopped spending time and money to persuade people to buckle up, put their children in car seats and not drive drunk. That important work continues unabated.More

No US airline fatalities in 2010
USA Today
U.S. airlines did not have a single fatality last year. It was the third time in the past four years there were no deaths, continuing a dramatic trend toward safer skies. Years without deaths have occurred sporadically since the dawn of the jet age, but never have so many occurred in so short a period, according to an analysis of data from the National Transportation Safety Board. The average number of deaths fell from about 86 a year in the 1990s to 46 a year since 2000, a 46 percent drop.More

Fight to end distracted driving continues with FocusDriven 1-year anniversary
Department of Transportation Fastlane
Jan. 20 marked the one-year anniversary of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for victims of distracted driving. In a recent blog post, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said FocusDriven President Jennifer Smith and the rest of the organization have done a great job this past year, which culminated in the release of their new PSA, "5,500; How Many More?" This PSA reflects the fact that each year nearly 5,500 people are killed and half a million more are injured in distraction-related crashes. As Smith said, "We cannot wait until others are killed or injured to take action. We want to remind people that each and every distracted driving fatality is someone's loved one, and that person's family is in tremendous pain."More

School buses add cameras to catch drivers endangering children
USA Today
School districts nationwide are trying out video cameras as a way to deter drivers from passing buses that are loading or unloading children. Districts in Dallas County, Texas, Montgomery and Frederick counties in Maryland and Cobb County, Ga., are among the latest to test the cameras on some school buses in their fleets. Michael Warner, associate director of fleet maintenance for the Cobb County School District, says an incident there in December 2009 prompted them to install cameras on two of their buses last spring.More

Urban mobility report paints flawed picture of congestion, solutions
Transportation for America
The Urban Mobility Report is an important reminder that too many Americans are stuck without good options for efficient, safe and affordable travel in our cities and towns. It is especially timely as Congress prepares to reset priorities for investing the transportation trust fund. However, it must be noted that flaws in the UMR's analysis could lead to faulty conclusions about what the report indicates.More

What can the US learn from European parking policies?
Transportation Nation
Making parking more expensive and less convenient, encouraging residents to trade in parking permits for transit passes and dedicating parking revenue for things like bike sharing programs. According to a new report, these are just a few of the strategies that cities like Amsterdam, Zurich and Barcelona employ to make their streets more bike-and pedestrian-friendly — while reducing pollution. A new report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (a group that plans transit systems for cities worldwide) called "Europe's Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation," details an approach to parking that would make most American politicians and retailers blanch. "European cities are deliberately making driving less convenient, but while they're doing that, they're boosting bike infrastructure and transit availability," said ITDP's Michael Kodransky.More

Room service in Terminal B
The Wall Street Journal
Almost every night, stranded travelers can be found sleeping inside the terminals of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. "This is the new reality," said James Crites, DFW's executive vice president for operations. "You're becoming a hotel." These days, airlines are canceling flights more readily due to bad weather and other disruptions. Rebooking is trickier than ever — as many discovered during the recent snowstorms in the South and Northeast — because airlines have reduced their schedules and are running at capacity. As a result, passengers should prepare for the dreaded airport sleepover. Now, however, airports are doing more when they become the hotel of last resort.More