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CTBSSP COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY SYNTHESIS 17 Sponsored by the Special Safety Concerns of Federal Motor Carrier the School Bus Industry Safety Administration A Synthesis of Safety Practicet

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2009 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS Chair: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Vice Chair: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles DAVID S. EKERN, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC RANDELL H. IWASAKI, Director, California DOT, Sacramento SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City DEBRA L. MILLER, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka NEIL J. PEDERSEN, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA ROSA CLAUSELL ROUNTREE, CEOGeneral Manager, Transroute International Canada Services, Inc., Pitt Meadows, BC STEVEN T. SCALZO, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando STEVE WILLIAMS, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR EX OFFICIO MEMBERS THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC PETER H. APPEL, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT J. RANDOLPH BABBITT, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC JAMES E. CAPONITI, Acting Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT CYNTHIA DOUGLASS, Acting Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC ROSE A. MCMURRY, Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT RONALD MEDFORD, Acting Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT VICTOR M. MENDEZ, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC PETER M. ROGOFF, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT JOSEPH C. SZABO, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT POLLY TROTTENBERG, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of October 2009.

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COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY SYNTHESIS PROGRAM CTBSSP SYNTHESIS 17 Special Safety Concerns of the School Bus Industry A Synthesis of Safety Practice CONSULTANTS DOUGLAS M. WIEGAND, DARRELL BOWMAN, and RICHARD J. HANOWSKI Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Blacksburg, Virginia CARMEN DAECHER Daecher Consulting Group, Inc. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania GENE BERGOFFEN MaineWay Services Fryeburg, Maine S UBJECT A REAS Operations and Safety Research Sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2010 www.TRB.org

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COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY CTBSSP SYNTHESIS 17 SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Safety is a principal focus of government agencies and private-sector orga- Project MC-21 nizations concerned with transportation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety ISSN 1544-6808 Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Trans- ISBN: 978-0-309-14248-9 portation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improve- Library of Congress Control Number 2009938317 ment Act of 1999. Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the FMCSA's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle- 2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. related fatalities and injuries. Administration activities contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety reg- ulations, targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; COPYRIGHT INFORMATION improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle tech- nologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the the Administration works with federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. the motor carrier industry, labor, safety interest groups, and others. In addi- Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce tion to safety, security-related issues are also receiving significant attention in light of the terrorist events of September 11, 2001. material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Administrators, commercial truck and bus carriers, government regulators, Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or information may be fragmented, scattered, and underevaluated. As a conse- practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valu- of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the able experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given material, request permission from CRP. to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information available on nearly every subject of concern to com- mercial truck and bus safety. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To pro- NOTICE vide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful informa- The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Commercial tion and to make it available to the commercial truck and bus industry, the Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program conducted by the Transportation Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP) was estab- lished by the FMCSA to undertake a series of studies to search out and syn- Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National thesize useful knowledge from all available sources and to prepare docu- Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment mented reports on current practices in the subject areas of concern. Reports that the program concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes from this endeavor constitute the CTBSSP Synthesis series, which collects and resources of the National Research Council. and assembles the various forms of information into single concise documents The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the pertaining to specific commercial truck and bus safety problems or sets of research agency that performed the research, and they are not necessarily closely related problems those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, The CTBSSP, administered by the Transportation Research Board, began or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department in early 2002 in support of the FMCSA's safety research programs. The pro- of Transportation. gram initiates two synthesis studies annually that address concerns in the area of commercial truck and bus safety. A synthesis report is a document Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication according to that summarizes existing practice in a specific technical area based typically procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board on a literature search and a survey of relevant organizations (e.g., state Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research DOTs, enforcement agencies, commercial truck and bus companies, or other Council. organizations appropriate for the specific topic). The primary users of the syn- The Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, and theses are practitioners who work on issues or problems using diverse the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (sponsor of the approaches in their individual settings. The program is modeled after the suc- Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program) do not endorse cessful synthesis programs currently operated as part of the National Coop- products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein erative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness This synthesis series reports on various practices, making recommendations of the project reporting. where appropriate. Each document is a compendium of the best knowledge available on measures found to be successful in resolving specific problems. To develop these syntheses in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclu- sion of significant knowledge, available information assembled from numer- ous sources, including a large number of relevant organizations, is analyzed. For each topic, the project objectives are (1) to locate and assemble docu- mented information; (2) to learn what practice has been used for solving or alleviating problems; (3) to identify all ongoing research; (4) to learn what problems remain largely unsolved; and (5) to organize, evaluate, and docu- ment the useful information that is acquired. Each synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were acceptable within the limi- tations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. The CTBSSP is governed by a Program Oversight Panel consisting of indi- Published reports of the viduals knowledgeable in the area of commercial truck and bus safety from a number of perspectives--commercial truck and bus carriers, key industry trade COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY associations, state regulatory agencies, safety organizations, academia, and SYNTHESIS PROGRAM related federal agencies. Major responsibilities of the panel are to (1) provide are available from: general oversight of the CTBSSP and its procedures, (2) annually select syn- thesis topics, (3) refine synthesis scopes, (4) select researchers to prepare each Transportation Research Board synthesis, (5) review products, and (6) make publication recommendations. Business Office Each year, potential synthesis topics are solicited through a broad indus- 500 Fifth Street, NW try-wide process. Based on the topics received, the Program Oversight Panel Washington, DC 20001 selects new synthesis topics based on the level of funding provided by the and can be ordered through the Internet at FMCSA. In late 2002, the Program Oversight Panel selected two task-order http://www.trb.org/bookstore contractor teams through a competitive process to conduct syntheses for Fis- cal Years 2003 through 2005. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Insti- tute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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CTBSSP OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CRP STAFF FOR CTBSSP SYNTHESIS 17 CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research STEPHEN CAMPBELL Programs Campbell Consulting LLC, Alexandria, VA NANDA SRINIVASAN, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS LAMONT BYRD CTBSSP SYNTHESIS STAFF International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, DC STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs B. SCOTT CLAFFEY JON M. WILLIAMS, Program Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies Great West Casualty Company, Bloomington, ID DONNA VLASAK, Senior Program Officer CHRISTOPHER CREAN DON TIPPMAN, Editor Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc., Springfield, MA CHERYL KEITH, Senior Program Assistant ALESSANDRO "ALEX" GUARIENTO MV Transportation, Inc., Plano, TX BRENDA LANTZ North Dakota State University, Lakewood, CO NORM LITTLER American Bus Association, Washington, DC DEAN NEWELL Maverick Transportation LLC, N. Little Rock, AR DAVID OSIECKI American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, VA E. JAN SKOUBY Missouri Department of Transportation, Jefferson City, MO CARI SULLIVAN Two Men and a Truck International, Inc., Lansing, MI TOM WEAKLEY Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Foundation, Grain Valley, MO GREER WOODRUFF J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., Lowell, AR CHRISTOPHER ZEILINGER Community Transportation Association of America, Washington, DC ALBERT ALVAREZ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Washington, DC (Liaison) MARTIN WALKER Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Washington, DC (Liaison) MICHAEL S. "MIKE" GRIFFITH Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC (Liaison) JOHN C. NICHOLAS Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC (Liaison) GREG HULL American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC (Liaison) LEO PENNE American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, Washington, DC (Liaison) CHARLES W. "CHUCK" NIESSNER Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC (Liaison) RICHARD PAIN Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC (Liaison) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The study team for this synthesis included individuals from the Cen- and Thomas McMahon of School Bus Fleet for their help in recruiting ter for Truck and Bus Safety at the Virginia Tech Transportation Insti- participants by advertising this project. We would also like to thank the tute (VTTI), Daecher Consulting Group, and MaineWay Services. various fleet managers and state directors of transportation who helped Daecher Consulting Group explored a variety of sources to assemble the to widely disseminate the survey. In addition, we would like to thank literature review content of this report, whereas VTTI researchers the anonymous members of the peer review committee that aided in developed, implemented, and analyzed the synthesis survey. VTTI developing the final synthesis survey content. Finally, thanks to Gene would like to thank Stephane Babcock at School Transportation News Bergoffen for his support throughout this project.

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FOREWORD Administrators, commercial truck and bus carriers, government regulators, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and underevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information available on nearly every subject of concern to commercial truck and bus safety. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with prob- lems in their day-to-day jobs. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the commercial truck and bus industry, the Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP) was established by the Fed- eral Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to undertake a series of studies to search out and synthesize useful knowledge from all available sources and to prepare documented reports on current practices in the subject areas of concern. Reports from this endeavor con- stitute the CTBSSP Synthesis series, which collects and assembles information into single concise documents pertaining to specific commercial truck and bus safety problems. The CTBSSP, administered by the Transportation Research Board, was authorized in late 2001 and began in 2002 in support of the FMCSA's safety research programs. The program initiates several synthesis studies annually that address issues in the area of commercial truck and bus safety. A synthesis report is a document that summarizes existing practice in a spe- cific technical area based typically on a literature search and a survey of relevant organiza- tions (e.g., state DOTs, enforcement agencies, commercial truck and bus companies, or other organizations appropriate for the specific topic). The primary users of the syntheses are prac- titioners who work on issues or problems using diverse approaches in their individual settings. This synthesis series reports on various practices; each document is a compendium of the best knowledge available on measures found to be successful in resolving specific prob- lems. To develop these syntheses in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclusion of sig- nificant knowledge, available information assembled from numerous sources is analyzed. For each topic, the project objectives are (1) to locate and assemble documented infor- mation; (2) to learn what practices have been used for solving or alleviating problems; (3) to identify relevant, ongoing research; (4) to learn what problems remain largely unsolved; and (5) to organize, evaluate, and document the useful information that is acquired. Each synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. PREFACE Every weekday in the school year school transportation systems in the United States By Jon M. Williams operate approximately 440,000 yellow school buses to provide safe transportation for more Program Director than 24 million school-aged children. This synthesis documents the various safety issues Transportation faced by the school bus industry. Safety issues include each aspect of school bus operations, Research Board including the driver, environment, equipment/technology, and organizational design. Information was gathered through a literature review and a survey on school bus safety issues that was disseminated to a variety of professionals associated with school bus operations. Douglas M. Wiegand, Darrell Bowman, and Richard J. Hanowski of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia; Carmen Daecher of Daecher Consulting Group, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; and Gene Bergoffen of MaineWay Services, Fryeburg, Maine, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. The Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program Oversight Committee members are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Objectives and Scope, 3 5 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Safety Concerns Regarding School Bus Drivers, 5 Safety Concerns in the Driving Environment, 6 Technology and Equipment, 6 Organizational Design, 7 Safety of School Buses Compared with Other Modes, 8 9 CHAPTER THREE SYNTHESIS SURVEY DEVELOPMENT, PEER REVIEW, AND FOCUS GROUP AND METHODS Participant Recruitment for Focus Groups, 9 Methods and Results, 9 Participant Recruitment for Survey, 9 11 CHAPTER FOUR SYNTHESIS SURVEY RESULTS Description of Respondents and Fleets, 11 Overall Safety Issues (Rated and Ranked), 11 Overall Safety Issues (Comparisons Between Drivers and Non-Drivers), 12 Overall Safety Issues (Open-Ended), 12 School Bus Driver Safety Issues: Driver Hiring and Training Issues, 13 Equipment and Technology Safety Issues, 16 Organizational Design Safety Issues, 17 Security-Related Safety Issues, 18 Closing Comments by Respondents, 19 20 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS Barriers and Solutions to Improving Safety, 20 Limitations and Future Work, 22 23 REFERENCES 26 BIBLIOGRAPHY 27 APPENDIX A RECRUITMENT E-MAIL FOR PEER REVIEW GROUP 28 APPENDIX B POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FOR PEER REVIEW FOCUS GROUP

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32 APPENDIX C FINAL SURVEY INSTRUMENT 38 APPENDIX D RECRUITMENT E-MAIL AND FLYER FOR THE SURVEY 41 APPENDIX E DESCRIPTIONS OF SCHOOL BUS TYPES 43 APPENDIX F OVERALL SAFETY ISSUES BY RANKING