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School Bus Safety Week

October 1608:41 AM

This week, DPS is reminding drivers about the importance of following school bus laws in hopes of saving a life and you from a $1200 fine. view article arw

National School Bus Safety Week begins Monday, and the Texas Department of Public Safety is stepping up enforcement and urging drivers to comply with laws prohibiting passing buses.  It is illegal to pass any school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal — either flashing red lights or a stop sign. view article arw

Next school year, about 300 students will no longer be able to transfer out of Marlin Independent School District unless they come up with their own transportation to school, Marlin officials said during a school board meeting Tuesday night.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled Oct. 3 that school districts cannot operate buses outside their geographical boundaries on a regular basis unless they have a formal agreement with other districts to do so. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The state of Texas now requires seat belts on any new buses a school district buys, but the state isn’t providing any extra funding for the pricey change, so some local school districts are looking to taxpayers to foot the bill.  “Everybody agrees a seat belt makes it a little safer,” said Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Brad Lancaster. “The problem is funding.” view article arw

When Bryan students returned to school in August, there were major issues with the transportation system. Parents were upset their children were sitting on transfer buses for long periods of time and not getting home until hours after school. Brandon Webb, the Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs for the district, says a change in grade levels and a new bus system created the perfect storm for the district. view article arw

Effective Nov. 1, Frisco ISD bus drivers will see a pay increase to their base wage by $1. During Monday’s regular meeting, FISD board of trustees unanimously approved to increase the pay for bus drivers from $15.63 to $16.63 per hour. The total cost to the district is $224,000. Doug Zambiasi, deputy superintendent of support services, said FISD has has been experiencing a severe bus driver shortage for more than a year now. view article arw

Carroll ISD will have two new activity buses joining its fleet. At the Oct. 16 board of trustees meeting the CISD board approved the purchase of two large activity buses for an amount not to exceed $330,000. The cost will be paid using 2017 bond funds. In May, CISD voters approved a $208 million bond that focuses on alleviating capacity issues as well as many upgrades and maintenance projects throughout the district. Part of this package included a plan to replace all 77 of the district’s school buses and other vehicles over the next five years with a budget of $7.5 million. view article arw

About 22,000 students in Austin take the school bus daily, and as part of National School Bus Safety Week, more eyes will be on drivers. The Department of Public Safety is teaming up with district police to ensure those behind the wheel are following the law. "Motorists should always be alert and practice safe driving habits when traveling near school buses or anywhere school children gather, including bus stops," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Texas parents can rest assured that DPS will not tolerate those who recklessly endanger children by ignoring the law." view article arw

Students in Bryan may start and end school at different times come January. The change was recommended by Michael Brassfield, a consultant hired by the Bryan school district in August to explain what went so wrong with the district's bus system at the start of this school year. The consultant, who operates the consulting firm WannaGoYo during the summer and runs the Fort Bend school district's transportation department during the school year, presented his findings to the Bryan board Monday. view article arw

A KXAN Investigation that uncovered speeding school buses is continuing to help keep your kids safer. We first revealed school buses speeding in districts across Central Texas last May. To follow up, KXAN Lead Investigator Brian Collister just checked back with Austin ISD, the area’s largest district, which cracked down on speeding bus drivers before summer break because of our report. We wanted to see if the district is continuing to monitor drivers in this new school year. KXAN uncovered the speeds by asking for data from black boxes, and found districts were not checking them to slow down drivers. view article arw

A crash Thursday morning involving a Navasota ISD school bus is the second incident in two days involving a school bus in our area. Two adults were transported to the hospital after a head on collision on FM 159, near Millican. Wednesday a Hearne ISD school bus caught fire. No one was hurt in the fire but these two scenarios are raising questions about the new law that went into effect this year, for seat-belts on buses. view article arw

Police arrested a man who climbed onto the front of a moving school bus because he was angry someone allegedly threw a bottle from the bus and hit his car. A school bus was sitting in traffic next to the vehicle of 68-year-old Leverne Doran Thursday afternoon, according to Baltimore County Police. “Allegedly, a bottle of some sort was thrown out of the bus towards that vehicle. At that point, the driver of that vehicle got out of his vehicle,” Sgt. Andrea Bylen said. view article arw

JONESBORO, Texas (KWTX) Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an official opinion Tuesday that says Jonesboro school busses can’t pick up students outside district lines without a formal agreement with Gatesville ISD.  Coryell County District Attorney Dustin Boyd received the AG’s opinion on Tuesday after he’d requested clarification of a law that governs school district transportation issues, especially a question about Jonesboro buses travelling to adjacent districts to take students to and from school. view article arw

KXAS-TV (NBC5) has discovered billing records that show the troubled agency that runs Dallas County public school buses stuck the Dallas Independent School District with a $2 million increase for bus service as it sought to pay down debt from a questionable land deal. The records show Dallas County Schools, the busing agency, raised the price of "leasing expenses" related to busing Dallas ISD students from about $159,000 in 2015 to more than $2 million in 2016. view article arw

Temple Independent School District is revising its protocol for handling a bus breakdown after some elementary school students walked home alone Tuesday. TISD bus No. 154 broke down at a stop at South 11th Street and West Avenue O. Some parents came to pick up their children. The driver told the students that unless their parent was present or they lived on that block they should not leave the bus. view article arw

A Navasota ISD school bus was involved in a accident this morning leaving three students and two bus drivers with minor injuries.  According to reports the accident happened around 6:30 a.m. on Highway 159 north of Millican. A Dodge pickup crossed into the buses path and hit the bus head on. view article arw

Two Austin ISD buses were involved in a crash in southeast Austin on Wednesday morning, and both police and the district say no injuries have been reported. view article arw

Seat belt law could strain districts

October 0408:35 AM

A new state law that requires school districts to include three-point seat belts for all passengers on new school buses is a costly mandate for districts already facing tight budgets.  "Based on my previous conversations with bus manufacturers, if districts choose to install seat belts on new buses, they should expect unit costs to increase $9,000 to $12,000 per unit," Pine Tree ISD Transportation Director Jack Irvin said Tuesday. view article arw

The City of Lubbock says a ruptured water line caused a school bus to become stuck in a sinkhole on 42nd Street and Elgin Avenue near Wheelock Elementary School. The first reports came into KCBD at 7:45 Friday morning. Lubbock city officials are on the scene. They say a water main pipe broke, and the bus drove over that part of the road, causing the road to buckle. view article arw

A Nacogdoches ISD school bus was rear-ended by a passenger car Thursday morning. According to Nacogdoches ISD, none of the 20 students on the bus were injured in the wreck. The two people in the car were taken to a Nacogdoches hospital. According to a press release from the Nacogdoches Independent School District, Bus No. 6 was involved in a two-vehicle wreck near the intersection of Loop 224 and Appleby Sand Road at about 7 a.m. The bus was hit in the rear end by a passenger car. view article arw

Copperas Cove ISD has fired a bus driver after an incident involving a railroad crossing. Video sent to FOX44 shows bus #52 at a railroad crossing with the crossing arm across the vehicle’s front. CCISD says the bus was crossing the tracks when a train came into view, activating the warning lights and crossing arms. view article arw

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Longview Independent School District has released video of the moment during Monday’s wreck when a pickup rammed a bus in a Longview intersection. The driver of the pickup, Alan Dale Holmes was arrested and charged with DWI at the scene.  Fortunately the bus was nearly at the end of its route when the truck hit. There were only three people on the bus at the time of impact: a student, and aid and the driver. Elizabeth Ross, who is the LISD spokeswoman as well as being a mother, has seen the video several times, but still flinches when she plays it. view article arw

Starting this fall Austin ISD and school districts across the state will have to consider a new Texas law regarding seat belts on new school buses. Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 693 into law June 15, which requires any new school buses purchased by school districts to include seat belts for each passenger. The law went into effect Sept. 1. Six states, now including Texas, require seat belts on school buses. In November, voters in AISD will decide on a $1.05 billion bond package that includes a $21.4 million line item to pay for 190 replacement buses over a five year period. view article arw

A few parents are confused after some Midland Independent School District (MISD) students taking the bus got home late last week. The district said it's partly because of their bus shortage, they are currently short 45 bus drivers. 6:40 p.m. is the latest a Goddard Junior High student got home last Friday. MISD said on top of being short 45 bus drivers, they were also short staffed that day and had to double up on bus routes. view article arw

An Abilene ISD school bus was involved in a crash Monday night. But no students were hurt and it may be thanks to the bus having seat belts. According to AISD spokesman Phil Ashby, the bus -- with five Cooper High School students -- was headed north on Bishop Road near Elmwood Memorial Park. When the driver moved over to make room for another vehicle, one of the bus's front wheels slipped off the road onto rain soaked dirt and lost traction. view article arw

Parents living along US Highway 290 say they are fed up with drivers speeding past school buses stopped to pick up students. Leaders with Dripping Springs Independent School District say it’s a problem they deal with often. The district says it has five bus stops along US 290. It’s not an ideal location but the district says it really has no other options. view article arw

Port Aransas Independent School District reportedly lost its entire fleet of school buses to Hurricane Harvey. Early Saturday morning, North East Independent School District sent off refurbished school buses to Port Aransas for the district to use. NEISD even made sure to label the buses with Port Aransas ISD before making the delivery. NEISD tweeted about the heartfelt gesture Saturday morning. view article arw

The man in charge of transportation for the Bryan Independent School District is resigning. KBTX confirmed that Rob Welsh submitted his resignation to Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck. His last day will be November 7th. Welsh was appointed to the position in June of 2016. view article arw

A shortage in support staff, which includes 45 bus drivers, eight custodians and six crossing guards, hasHays CISD scrambling to fill those positions. Carter Scherff, Hays CISD chief operations officer, said in an emailed response that the district hopes increasing support staff starting salaries across the board could attract new employees. view article arw

Students from South San Antonio Independent School District gave school leaders an earful during Wednesday’s regular meeting. Hutchins Elementary School kids who live in the Garden Valley community said they are forced to walk about a mile to school along busy Zarzamora Street and cross the six-lane road twice a day. view article arw

A new law regarding seat belts in school buses went into effect earlier this month. The law requires school districts in the market for new buses to have three-point lap and shoulder seat belts for each passenger. In San Benito, a financial committee meeting was held this past week to discuss possibly leasing 18 buses for the transportation department. view article arw

 Edinburg CISD will soon be adding a fleet of school buses outfitted with seat belts. The purchase comes two weeks after Texas lawmakers approved legislation requiring new school buses, 2018 models and newer, to have safety belts. view article arw

Police said a woman was killed when she crashed into a Denton Independent School District bus in McKinney Thursday night. McKinney police said the woman, identified Friday as 22-year-old Caitlyn Haynes, was driving a Jeep at a high rate of speed on westbound U.S. 380 when she crashed into a bus stopped at a red light near Wisteria Way at about 11:15 p.m. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials. view article arw

Three middle school students sprung into action after their bus driver started having a seizure. Eighth-grader Alex Fisher and his two friends were riding the bus from Rogers Middle School on Monday when they noticed something was wrong.   view article arw

The Hutto ISD Board of Trustees voted Thursday to table a proposal that would replace portions of the school district’s vehicular fleet, asking an alternate plan be introduced at October’’s meeting. The board voted 6-1 to delay the measure introduced by Hutto ISD Director of Maintenance and Operations Brandon Cardwell. Cardwell will amend the office’s proposal to replace certain vehicles in the Hutto ISD’s aging vehicular fleet. view article arw