Last year Berrien Regional Education Service Agency, Berrien Springs, MI, charged with caring for the community’s special needs children, faced state budget cuts and had to find a way to lower costs without compromising safety. It needed specialized vehicles, a flexible and compassionate staff and nurses to ride routes. Officials were not sure what they would find when they first considered outsourcing the transportation program.
Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) handed down a landmark rule that addresses the ongoing debate of seatbelt use on school buses. Among other changes, the rule requires an increase in the seatback height on both large and small school buses and mandates the installation of three-point seatbelts on smaller buses.