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5 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW A literature review was undertaken to identify issues within the 18 years of age, whereas 18 states require that a bus driver be school bus industry. It was conducted through classic library at least 21 years old (Hirano 2007). style research, as well as through an Internet search. The review extended back more than 34 years. Seventy-two sources of No specific literature was found that discusses physical school-related transportation information were identified. This examinations for school bus drivers. It is known that each state literature review is formatted to follow the STS model, focus- requires physicals of school bus drivers, and some (New York ing on issues relevant to the driver, environment, technology/ and Washington State) require fitness testing as part of the equipment, and organizational design of school bus operations. qualification process (School Bus Drivers 2006). Finally, the safety of the yellow school bus mode is compared with other modes of transport to and from school. Driver training is established for school bus drivers at the state level. The NHTSA (1974, 2002a,b) has developed and made available to all states and school bus operations a national SAFETY CONCERNS REGARDING SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS driver training curriculum. This curriculum offers qualitative content regarding defensive driving, loading and unloading As part of its annual survey results for the past eight years, of students, and transporting students with special needs. Many School Bus Fleet magazine has identified driver hiring and states have prepared and required the use of their own train- retention as one of the leading concerns within the school bus ing curriculums (School Bus Security . . . 2007; Michigan industry (Hirano 2007). Other reviewed literature (LeMon Department of Education n.d.; Illinois State Board of Education 1998; Grenzeback et al. 2005; 2008) identified n.d. a,b). In all of these cases, these curriculums closely follow this as an issue throughout the 1990s. Although this concern the national standard curriculum established through NHTSA. seems to ebb and flow with economic issues (i.e., the un- employment rate), not only the quantity but the quality of There are also school bus driver training materials prepared the individuals available to drive school buses continues to by outside sources (Bane 1991; Daecher 1991). These training be an ongoing concern. programs are complete and resemble the national training program established by NHTSA. In large part, this concern is rooted in the competitive and economic reality of school bus operations. The 25th percentile There was no literature reviewed that discussed school salary for a school bus driver is $25,652 and the 75th per- bus driver seat belt usage. Most state laws require the use of centile is $34,966, with a median salary of $29,810 (Salary. a seat belt by drivers; however, the single literature source com 2008). For this, they must safely operate the school found concerning seat belt usage for commercial drivers only bus, contend with children ranging in age from 4 to 19, and involved truck drivers. find themselves involved in issues and controversies concern- ing school districts, parents, students, and employers. These Fatigue is mentioned only once throughout the literature working conditions can be taxing; thus, turnover will continue reviewed (Hours of Service . . . 2003). It is not considered a to be an issue. significant issue, but length of the school bus driving day and driver wellness/lifestyle are identified as elements of concern. In terms of hiring and safeguarding passenger security, criminal background checks for school bus drivers are required Driver distraction because of cell phones appears to be a by all states. Most states require both state and federal back- growing concern. In 2007, the American School Bus Coun- ground checks (Hirano 2007). However, some states allow cil called for a ban on drivers using cell phones when the their individual educational agencies to establish their own school bus is moving or when students are loading/unloading background check policies. Another hiring criterion for school (Distracted Bus Drivers 2007; Zuckerbrod 2007). This is not bus drivers is a minimum age requirement. The youngest age the only driving distraction of concern. Driver eating and permitted for school bus drivers varies from 18 to 21 through- drinking are other types of distractions that have been docu- out the states. Twenty-five states allow a bus driver to be mented as an issue (Distracted Bus Drivers 2007).