NAPT MultiView News Brief
July 12, 2011

Survey confirms number of illegal passes of school buses is 'alarming'
National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services
At the opening session of the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference, NASDPTS president Mike Simmons released the results of the state directors' national survey on illegal passing of school buses. In 28 states, school bus drivers recorded in a one-day snapshot how many times other motorists passed their school buses illegally while the buses were stopped displaying their flashing red lights and stop arms.More

Study: No evidence cellphone bans reduce crashes
Fox News
A comprehensive study on distracted driving has found there is no conclusive evidence that hands-free cellphone use while driving is any less risky than hand-held cellphone use. The study, which was commissioned by the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association, and funded by State Farm Insurance, also found that there is no evidence that cellphone or texting bans have reduced crashes.More

The environmental case for transportation investment
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently made two separate announcements about providing funds for transportation projects that cited environmental benefits as their main selling point. The Department of Transportation announced that 27 transit projects will receive $1.58 billion "that will improve public transportation access for millions of Americans while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and curbing air pollution." The DOT also announced a $101.4 million competitive grant for transit providers, proposing "projects that create 'green' jobs promote the use of clean fuels and cut our nation's dependence on oil."More

QR codes aim to curb drunken driving in Texas
Government Technology
As Super Bowl XLV neared, the Texas Department of Transportation had more on its mind than which team would win the big game. TxDOT partnered with businesses to display posters with black-and-white quick-response codes, which have matrix-shaped surfaces that can be scanned with a smartphone. When Texans photographed the QR codes with their phones, they were directed to a mobile site called Choose Your Ride that gives multiple transportation options in a simple, clickable format.More

At 75, America's air traffic control system keeps getting better
Department of Transportation Fastlane
When you look at the Federal Aviation Administration's highly developed air traffic control organization, it's difficult to imagine a time when there were only 15 controllers at three centers. But, 75 years ago, that's exactly what we had. More

How dirty is the yellow school bus?
Chemical & Engineering News
As iconic yellow buses transport children to and from school, their diesel engines deliver big doses of air pollutants. In response, school districts have started retrofitting their buses to cut tailpipe emissions. But a new study shows that while these measures may help clean outdoor air, they have virtually no impact on the air inside bus cabins.More

More teens asking: College? Who needs it?
eSchool News
He calls it the UnCollege movement: 19-year-old Dale Stephens is urging his peers to rethink the need for college, arguing that they can get more out of pursuing real-world skills than completing homework assignments and studying for exams. Stephens is part of a small but growing chorus of entrepreneurs, free thinkers and former students who are questioning the value of higher education.More

Key to green trucks will be operational savings over time
Fleet Owner
Two new studies conclude that adoption rates for alternative-fueled vehicles will significantly climb among consumers and commercial users alike if specific "compensation" targets are achieved. In other words, the higher purchase price for AFVs — regardless of all-electric, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell or natural gas power — must be balanced by operational savings over time.More

Survey: Bullying a top concern among Virginia public school students
The Washington Post
Bullying remains the top safety concern among Virginia's public school students, according to a statewide survey of principals and superintendents. The Virginia School Safety Survey found that among the 737 elementary, middle and high schools that gave students anonymous safety surveys, bullying emerged as students' main concern at all grade levels in 2009-2010, the most recent data available.More

Fiery words over GOP proposal to cut transportation funds
The Washington Post
As congressional leaders from both parties recently traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue for a White House meeting on finances, open hostilities broke out on the traditionally bipartisan House transportation committee over a GOP proposal to cut spending by about $15 billion a year.More

Electric, hybrid cars to be required to sound pedestrian alerts
Bloomberg News
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will propose a rule requiring electric and hybrid vehicles to sound an alert under certain conditions to alert pedestrians to their presence. The rule will require all such vehicles to come equipped with a pedestrian safety sound system, the agency said in a notice published on its website today. The regulation will cover light and low-speed vehicles, motorcycles, buses and heavy-duty trucks.More

No higher gas tax? Then prepare for a transportation-funding meltdown
The Infrastructurist
The bizarre debt-ceiling debate in Washington may well affect what kind of traffic jams you'll idle in and what kind of bus service — if any — you'll get. If budget-cutting fanatics win on the debt ceiling, look for big cuts in transit service and fare hikes. Gas taxes probably won't go up, but a third of planned road projects may go on hold.More