Lakewood School District Adds New Safety Requirements; Demands Compliance From Bus Companies

In a letter to transportation vendors, Lakewood Schools Superintendent Laura Winters listed multiple infractions for which bus drivers and their employers can be liable for.

Noting the seriousness of the violations, Winters reminded the vendors that a maximum fine of $500 can be imposed per each occurrence.

The letter lists multiple contractual obligations that are subject to penalty, including drivers wearing earbuds or headphones, drivers operating the vehicle while students are standing and/or hanging out of the windows and driving away from a bus stop prior to all students being seated.

Just last month, a 6-year-old special needs student choked to death on her bus, as the school bus monitor was preoccupied on her phone with earbuds in both ears, oblivious to the unfolding situation just several feet away from her.

The 27-year-old monitor has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child and remains out of prison on bail.

In addition, all vehicles are obligated to be equipped with working two way radios, child alert system, GPS monitoring systems, digital/audio recording devices, child restraint system, and route identification.

Failure to provide such equipment may result in fines up to $300.00 per occurrence, the letter states.

Bus routes running in excess of 20 minutes late, more than three times in a 30-day period
will be subject to penalty of half the per diem rate, per occurrence.

Other safety obligations include:

  • Commingling of routes will result in deduction of the per diem cost.
  • Failure to provide requested video will result in a $300.00 fine, per occurrence.
  • Missed pick-ups may result in fines up to two times per the per diem rate.
  • Failure to service any route will result in a deduction of two times the per diem rate.
  • Failure to provide proper equipment as specified in bid specifications will result in a
    $250.00 fine, per occurrence.
  • Failure to report an accident will result in a $300.00 fine, per occurrence.
  • Failure to furnish an accident report within 10 days of the initial incident will result
    in a $300.00 fine, per occurrence
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  1. With the terrible traffic in Lakewood no school bus will make it on time to any schools let’s be forreal go and drive a bus and see fo yaselves

  2. At this rate, a Lakewood school bus driver will be working for free/perhaps pay to work if these new criteria aren’t satisfied. Who needs this?

  3. If there was a shortage of drivers till now let’s see what will happen now, I’m ready to quit as a bus driver, politicians think that after each story everyone has to suffer and put out every rule possible

  4. If only the yeshivas would have their own buses. Half of the bus problems would be solved with a Yiddishe driver and bus rebbe. First of all the bus would do is please each Yeshiva separately and bus would be on time because it’s not running from one school to the other. And any time that there is a change of schedule the bus is available for the school. And snow days there isn’t a problem. And much more benefits summer when the bus is used as a shuttle to trips. And after the late nights you have your own bus to take the kids home which the driver knows the kids that he drives home everyday. All you keep hearing is what LSTA says but in reality the chasidish yeshivas figured it out. Including Belz, Rachmistrifk, satmar, Bnos Bina. You don’t hear bus driver shortage from them. They do whatever is necessary to make it happen

  5. Never mind the traffic in lakewood being so messed up and parents have to take their kids to school because of the schools not having their own buses in Lakewood. Being now they’re not paying for the companies to give student transportation till September 1st. Versus chasidish Moisdas being on time with buses with no headaches to the parents

  6. I wonder if the reason how chassidishe mosdos can run their own buses is because most of their parents bodies live in close proximity to each other. Unlike your regular schools that the distance between pockets of students are too great that the only way to arrange transportation is with commingling schools. Just a theory. Any bus drivers here that can clarify?

    • If the bus is focused and run by the school it’s possible to see where the problem is and figure out how to solve the problem. the driver should be hired by the school and know the kids and school staff and want to please the school and parents and not be focused running from one school to the next in order to make the most money possible from the bus. NOT TO COMPARE

  7. There is no comingling of schools in this town.

    But just wait until we start to stop the buses for children standing There will be no school days in this town and no working time as the whole town will be a standstill.

    I have no idea how anyone expects a bus driver to drive safely keep an Eye on the road and the children trying to have them sitting (like they listen anyways) We will just be parked on the road for the day.

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