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The 2009 Ship of State: Navigating State and National Waters when Seas are Tough Presented to 62 nd FAPT Annual Conference July 7, 2009 Charlie Hood, Director,

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Presentation on theme: "The 2009 Ship of State: Navigating State and National Waters when Seas are Tough Presented to 62 nd FAPT Annual Conference July 7, 2009 Charlie Hood, Director,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2009 Ship of State: Navigating State and National Waters when Seas are Tough Presented to 62 nd FAPT Annual Conference July 7, 2009 Charlie Hood, Director, School Transportation Florida Department of Education

2 Legislation Failed HB 87- Requires traffic and pedestrian control devices at most schools on state roads HB 473- Ronshay Dugans Act; designates Drowsy Driving Prevention Week; school bus drivers may only use wireless devices under limited circumstances HB 587 and SB 18- Claims bill; compensates Kamel and Dmitri for death of Kamel due to claimed negligence of Palm Beach S.D.

3 Legislation Failed SB 610- Provides that FDOE shall distribute Student Transportation FEFP funds to charter schools operating under Excellence Commission HB 627 and SB Prohibits bus stops on state roads w/ 55 mph or higher speed SB 212 and HB 261- Specifies that persons under age 18 may not use wireless devices while driving

4 Legislation Failed HB Prohibits school personnel from manually physically restraining students with disabilities except in emergencies

5 Legislation Passed Appropriations (Chapters and , LOF)- Student Transportation included in overall FEFP for , set at $429M; reduced 13.1% since SB 344- Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law- Provides that not wearing a seat belt in a motor vehicle is now a primary enforcement action

6 Legislation Passed HB 481 and SB Increases penalty for illegal passing of bus by $65; funds go to trauma centers SB 522- Claims bill for relief; compensates V. Merriweather for alleged negligence of Palm Beach S.D.

7 Legislation Passed SB Revises s , FS, to require that contiguous districts have reciprocal agreements for school bus transportation services, inspections, and screening requirements for public schools, including charter schools

8 Saving Money, Raising Revenue (what ideas have we heard, and are they allowed?) Parent pay for service Advertising inside (yes) or outside buses (no) Consolidating and reducing bus stops Reducing routes and mileage 4-day week Revising compensation packages

9 Saving Money, Raising Revenue (what ideas have we heard, and are they allowed?) Seeking grants (EPA, Homeless assistance grants, transportation security, IDEA) Reduce or eliminate courtesy busing Review potential hazardous walking areas Eliminate field trips, magnet school transportation, after-school trips Evaluate fleet service schedules and parts

10 ERC Rule Reducing Greenhouse Gases Rule , FAC, Heavy-Duty Vehicle Idling Reduction- Owners or operators of heavy-duty diesel engine powered motor vehicles are prohibited from idling for more than five consecutive minutes. Idling is the continuous operation of a vehicles main drive engine while the vehicle is stopped.

11 (1)Idling while stopped for traffic conditions over which the driver has no control, including being stopped for an official traffic control device or signal, in a line of traffic, at a railroad crossing, at a construction zone, or at the direction of law enforcement. (2) Idling of buses 10 minutes prior to passenger loading and when passengers are onboard if needed for passenger comfort. (3) If idling is necessary for a police, fire, ambulance, public safety, military, or other vehicle being used in an emergency or training capacity. Exemptions

12 (4) If idling is necessary to verify that the vehicle is in safe operating condition as required by law and that all equipment is in good working order, either as part of a daily vehicle inspection or as otherwise needed, provided that engine idling is mandatory for such verification. (5) If idling is necessary to operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners, or other equipment to prevent a safety or health emergency, but not solely for the comfort of the driver. Exemptions (Continued)

13 District Idling Policy Required: Rule 6A , FAC, requires that districts adopt local idling policies (effective November 25, 2006) Districts may wish to ensure local policies are consistent with (and no less stringent than) the new ERC idling rule

14 Legislation, Statutes, and Rules (Florida legislative bills and statutes) (Florida rules and statutes) (federal rulemaking dockets and public comments)

15 Fatalities in (requiring school bus crash report to FDOE): Marion, 9/23/08- Frances Margay Schee, 13, killed when her school bus was struck from behind by a semi truck Okaloosa, 10/14/08- Adult SUV driver killed when he ran into a school bus stopped to drop off students Broward, 12/2/ year old male pedestrian killed when he was struck by a school bus reportedly turning left

16 Fatalities in (requiring school bus crash report): Pinellas, 1/14/09- High school student died 1/19/09 due to injuries from jumping out the emergency exit of his bus while it was traveling down the road Bay, 1/22/09- Adult male bicyclist killed when he pulled into the path of a school bus Levy, 3/31/09- Adult female Shands Hospital employee killed when her SUV rear-ended a legally stopped school bus; infant daughter properly restrained in child seat minorly injured

17 Fatalities (other): Leon, 9/5/08- Ronshay Dugans, 8, died when her Boys and Girls Club bus was struck by a concrete truck Hernando, 9/9/08- Kaitlyn Harper was hit by a car while walking to a school bus stop not assigned to her Indian River, 9/30/08, Jordan Miller, 15, was hit by a car while crossing to get to a bus stop not assigned to him

18 Fatalities (other): Bay, 10/17/08, Melissa Tindell, 13, hit by a car near her bus stop before bus arrived Leon, 1/9/09, Christopher Robles, 4, hit by a van in front of his school

19 Crash Reporting Reminders: Reporting threshold is $1,000 DOE and districts are working to reconcile district-reported numbers (DOE system) with police reports (DHSMV system)

20 FATAL Crash Reporting Districts must provide immediate notice of any fatal crash to FDOE as soon as practical Report by phone call and/or Helps district and FDOE answer immediate questions from administrators, media Info is always treated as preliminary Not meant as substitute for regular FDOE and police crash reporting

21 Public Transit and FTA Rulemaking Allowable for student transportation in FL FTA proposed rulemaking that would prohibit public transit routes that exclusively serve public school students Significant opposition to NPRM from transit agencies and some schools School bus associations (NSTA, NAPT, NASDPTS) supported FTA FTA withdrew rule June 26, 2009; probably to allow new administration to review

22 Hazardous Walking Districts must now include location code on each student record if reported in Hazardous category Districts must update their inspections and documentation (determinations of HW locations) each five years

23 Parent-Student Safety Instructions Safety instructions must be provided annually, in writing, as required by Rule 6A DOEs Are We There Yet? brochure can be printed for parents and others Available at under the Manuals and Publications

24 Charter Schools Now almost 400 in Florida; continuing to grow Districts must ensure charter schools are following laws and rules relating to health and safety Charter schools are included in FDOE monitoring of districts FAPT Statutes/Rules Committee considering recommendation to disaggregate Average Bus Occupancy for charter schools from district FEFP reporting


26 Driver Compliance and Liability Seat belt use Cell phone prohibition Idling restriction Unauthorized stop locations Mirror adjustment Others???


28 Employee Criminal Background Checks Still required upon employment Required every five years June 2009 is five years from passage of requirement to review Required for contractors who are on school property; includes charter bus drivers

29 Driver physicals Physical form (ESE 479) now allows 13 month interval for dexterity testing, per FAPT requests ESE 479 now has an effective date and no expiration date

30 Federal Funding American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Bill)- Billions for public transit; virtually none for school bus transportation Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)- $300 million; may be used for emissions reducing retrofits; limited bus replacement

31 Federal Funding Highway Bill Reauthorization- SAFETEA- LU expires 2010 Highway trust fund expected to run out of dollars this summer; Congress grappling with revenue replacement Safe Routes to School Reauthorization- NASDPTS has supported allowing SRTS funds for students walking to/from bus stops

32 FMCSA CDL Rules National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners proposed rule Physicals as part of CDL- Final Rule; must be implemented by Jan Preservice Training Proposed Rule- Would require 90 hours preservice training by accredited school to obtain CDL; actively opposed by NASDPTS, NSTA; probably on back burner for now

33 Transportation Security School Bus Watch- has been revamped, relaunched as School Bus First Observer (TTT workshop 7/8/09 by TSA) School Transportation Security Awareness ( 9/11 Commission Act of Required TSA to conduct security assessments in student transportation and report to Congress by July 1, 2008; TSA now expecting September 2009


35 Transportation Security TSA Highway and Motor Carriers (HMC) office is doing Corporate Security Reviews upon request (overview 7/9/09) HMC is also conducting transportation security exercises around US involving mock school transportation security incidents (next is in Greensboro, NC, July 23, 2009)

36 School Bus Evacuation NHTSA has developed new driver inservice module on bus evacuation State Board rule requires evac instructions for all passengers before every field/activity trip FDOE has suggested script from Polk Evacuation procedures continue to be priority for all students, including ESE NTSB recommendations support as priority

37 NHTSA Activities NHTSA is developing Safe School Bus Stop Selection guide Updated driver inservice training modules, including new evacuation module Aggressively pursuing school bus defects and requiring safety recalls when warranted Districts should continue to contact FDOE when they find potential safety defects on buses

38 Natl Congress on School Transportation (NCST) Gearing up for 2010 New interim amendments procedure in place Writing committees drafting revisions State delegations being appointed this summer Document and info at


40 Awards and Scholarships SESPTC- Awarding two $1,000 scholarships again this year for college expenses of two graduating high school seniors; parent or legal guardian must be Florida public school transportation employee meeting income criteria School Bus Operator of the Year- FAPT and Missing Childrens Day

41 FDLE Missing Childrens Issues All persons encouraged to sign up to receive Amber Alerts Parents and others can sign up to receive notifications when sexual offenders and predators move within proximity of homes Districts are encouraged to continue training drivers to report suspicious incidents and to have a system for notifying drivers of offenders addresses

42 NHTSA Rulemaking on Occupant Protection Final Rule adopted October 21, 2008 Rule requires: High back seats in all new buses starting 10/21/09 (already required in Florida) Lap/shoulder belts 10/21/11 in small buses (already required in Florida)

43 NHTSA Final Rule: Requires automatic seat bottom latching devices for any seat that flips up or is removable (new buses, effective 10/21/09) Establishes test standards and protocols for lap and lap/shoulder (L/S) belts in small and large buses Continues to allow lap belts in states that choose Encourages (doesnt require) states to use L/S belts Reaffirms that states may use 402 funds for costs

44 Links:

45 FAPT Website and ListServe Calendar of Events Use this address if you want to send to all FAPT General Members for FAPT Supplier Members

46 National Associations ASBC coordinates public information from NASDPTS, NAPT, NSTA, and the big three school bus manufacturers; e.g., positions on cell phone usage and other (NSTA)

47 Stay tuned… 2010 Emissions Requirements Coping with Reduced Budgets Monitoring Changes Fuel and Hurricanes Drug and Alcohol Testing Bus Operators Training And more…

48 Questions and Comments? or

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