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The Road to Learning Transportation 101

The Road to Learning Transportation 101

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The Road to Learning Transportation 101

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  1. The Road to LearningTransportation 101 CASBO November 7, 2013 Shawn Higginbotham, Associate Superintendent Lake Hamilton School District

  2. Topics • Legal Basis and Authority • Drivers • Safety • Preparedness • Equipment • Inspections and Maintenance • State Reporting

  3. Do school buses matter? • Safety • Traffic • Environment • Reliability • Free access to education

  4. Evolution of School Transportation

  5. Quick Facts In Arkansas: • Approximately 5,000 route buses • 325,000 student passengers • 243,000 route miles per day • 43,200,000 miles per year • 2 fatalities since 2001 • 922 square miles in largest school district • 22 square miles in smallest

  6. 2011-12 Student Transportation Data • Statewide expenditures: $196,344,334 • 4.8% of net total expenditures • Range per pupil spending: $115 to $1,123 • Avg. per pupil spending: $450.59 • Avg. cost per mile: $3.86 • $1.64 for driver costs • $2.22 to operate and maintain Compiled from the Annual Statistical Report

  7. Funding Included in the per pupil funding model (matrix) • Fiscal Year 14 $315.50 ($6,393) • Fiscal Year 15 $321.20 ($6,521) Supplemental Transportation Funding 2011-12

  8. Is public school pupil transportation… • Required? • Necessary? • Effective? • Efficient? • Expected? • Part of an “adequate” education? • Aheadache?!!

  9. Legal Basis Are public schools in Arkansas required to provide transportation for students to and from school?

  10. Authority • 6-19-101 authorizes the State Board to set standards to “provide a safe, efficient, and economical system of pupil transportation.” • 6-19-102 gives local boards of directors authority to purchase buses and hire drivers, “affording safe and convenient transportation to the pupils…” • Not be required but EXPECTED

  11. Main State Governing Agency Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation

  12. Policy Requirements • School Districts must have written policies for: • Transportation eligibility • Student behavior while being transported • Emergency procedures while being transported

  13. School Bus Drivers

  14. Driver Qualifications • 6-19-106 • May not be “physically defective or of unsound mind, known to be a habitual drunkard or of immoral habits” • Cannot have “general reputation of being a fast and reckless operator of motor vehicles without regard to the rights of others”

  15. Other Driver Requirements • 6-19-107 submit to driving record checks • 6-19-108 pass exams required by DPSAFT and ASP • Written/oral tests • Road test • Includes physical exam by licensed physician • Pre-service behind-the-wheel training

  16. Driver Licensure • Class B CDL (generally) • Endorsements required • “S” School Bus • “P” Passenger • Air Brakes • Driver records checked twice annually • District maintains records

  17. Physical Exams Required • Condition of employment • Includes pre-employment and random drug and alcohol screens • Negative tuberculosis skin test • Physical documented every two years • Restricted access to physical results – supervisors and managers

  18. Physical Exam Details • Vision – 20/40; field of vision; color blind • Hearing – perceive forced whisper ≥ 5 ft. • Cardiovascular disease – interfere with driving • Lung abnormalities – interfere with driving • Blood pressure – outside normal limits • Epilepsy/seizures – none allowed

  19. Physicals (cont’d) • Amputation – must be granted a Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate • Alcoholism – diagnosed not allowed • Drug Use – not allowed • Diabetes – if insulin dependent, not allowed

  20. Driver Training • Local driver training program required • Minimum of 24 hours of pre-service training • DPSAFT will provide three hours training annually • DPSAFT will issue certification of completion

  21. Why drive a school bus?

  22. Survey Results

  23. Driver Survey Continued What would make your job more satisfying? • Better pay/benefits (46.4%) • More training • More career development • More hands-on support from supervisor • More feedback/recognition

  24. Bus Driver’s Education

  25. Drivers’ Benefits • Insurance eligibility (6-17-1116) • Defines full time status – 720 hours during the school year (178 days = 4.05 hours per day) • Provides for bus driver eligibility to participate in group health insurance – employee pays full premium • District may opt to pay match • Paid sick leave eligibility (6-17-1301) • Works “not less than 20 hours per week” • One day per month or major portion thereof

  26. Driver Records • Bus driver files should include: • Current CDL • Physical examination • Proof of state & federal background check (after 4/10/1997) • Central registry check (after 7/1/09) • Semi-annual driving records check • TB test results • Proof of pre-employment drug and alcohol testing(after 12/31/1995) • Any random drug testing

  27. Driver Recruitment • Parents (usually mom) • Grandparents • Law Enforcement Officers • Ministers/Pastors • Self-employed (farmers, barbers, etc.) • Retirees (bored or broke) • Non-insured ??

  28. Driver Retention • Banquet • Awards • Jackets/Shirts • Benefits • Trips • Simple Appreciation: “Thank You” • Support from Administrators, Parents • Equipment Improvement

  29. Substitute Drivers • Important to provide • training • route description sheet • information about students with special needs • support and TLC • morning departure time • special mechanical quirks • Must meet all CDL requirements

  30. Safety

  31. “American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars.” Fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled: School buses .02 fatalities Cars 1.5 fatalities National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  32. Loading/Unloading Safety • 27-51-1004 prohibits passing school bus with lights activated for loading/unloading • 6-19-110 and 27-51-1003 define loading/unloading points and procedures • 6-19-110 requires bus drivers to report violations and prosecutors to report to superintendents

  33. Loading Danger Zone

  34. Driver Responsibilities • 27-51-1002 requires drivers to conduct pre-trip inspections • 6-19-102 requires drivers to use seat belt

  35. No Firearms • 5-73-119 prohibits possession of firearm on school property specifically including school buses and “at a designated stop identified on the route list published…” • Defense to prosecution under this section if “the person is a minor engaged in lawful marksmanship competition or practice under the supervision of his or her parent…”

  36. Prohibited Entry • 5-39-214 prohibits unauthorized entry of a school bus and requires signage • A person over 18 may not • Enter the bus with criminal intent • Disregard the instruction of the driver • Enter and refuse to leave • Causes or attempts to cause disruption or annoyance • Engages in reckless conduct that causes a substantial risk of creating apprehension in any person on the bus

  37. Cell Phones Prohibited • 6-19-120 prohibits driver use of cell phone while operating bus except in emergency or breakdown

  38. Penalties for Drug Activity • 5-64-411 enhances penalties for drug activity if committed within 1000 feet of • Public or private school property, including buses • Designated bus stop as identified on the route list published… • Exempts bus stops from posting requirement

  39. Passengers Must Be Seated • 6-19-119 • Driver may not operate until every passenger is seated • Accountability is assigned to superintendent • Imposes fines for knowingly violating

  40. Anti-Bullying • 6-18-514 • “…shall adopt policies to prevent pupil harassment known as bullying…” • “…on school buses, at designated stops…” • Requires anti-bullying notices to be posted on buses

  41. Seatbelts • Passengers are protected “like eggs in a carton.” • All a child must do to be protected is to sit down in a seat. • Even without seatbelts school buses are still the safest way transport students.

  42. Speeding • Buses must observe speed limits for other traffic except when commercial vehicle limit is posted differently. • Example: Speed limit on an interstate is posted as 75 and 65 for trucks. School buses must observe the 65 mph limit.

  43. Being Prepared

  44. Evacuation Drills

  45. Tornado Procedure • Use the best available procedure for your part of the state • Consult administrators and others

  46. Accident Kit The kit should contain: • Clipboard, ink pens • Blank seating charts • Camera • Laminated business cards with phone/fax numbers and addresses • 100 foot tape measure, • Insurance info • Phone numbers • Drug and alcohol testing • Wrecker services • Area hospital(s) • Drivers’ emergency contacts • Umbrella

  47. Accident Action Plan • Designate employees for these responsibilities: • Media spokesperson • District spokesperson at hospital • Accident kit to scene • Interview driver and witnesses • Arrange for drug and alcohol test • Notify schools and school board of accident

  48. Accident Action Plan (cont’d) • Notify driver’s family/spouse • Notify insurance company • Take and log phone calls • Operate the radio • Dispatch requested equipment and personnel • Procedure to release students to parents • Post-accident parent notification • Official statement