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These statistics are being made available by the Department of Education. These statistics represent the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000 along with a comparison of fiscal years 1999 & 2000.
The state of Maine’s school bus transportation program has committed itself to the safe and efficient transportation of school children. The Department works with other agencies (including the Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, and the Maine Association for Pupil Transportation) to educate fleet supervisors, school bus drivers, mechanics, students, and other motorists about safe practices and procedures. These safety measures, when applied, greatly reduce the risk of school bus-related crashes occurring, while improving the efficiency of the transportation services provided.
According to the National School Bus Information Council, the yellow school bus is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. Fatal crashes involving occupants of these vehicles are rare events. Each year, roughly 450,000 public school buses will travel an estimated 4.3 billion miles to transport 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities.
Every year, across the nation, more than 600 school-aged children are killed while being transported in passenger cars, non-conforming vans, or other private vehicles during school hours. In comparison, there are fewer than 10 school bus passenger fatalities each year nationwide. Furthermore, the school bus passenger fatalities typically involve unavoidable, severe circumstances. Crash simulation tests conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that many of the 600+ fatalities could possibly have been avoided if the children involved had been riding in a school bus.
National Highway Statistics show that, since 1989, only 0.3 percent of all fatal traffic crashes have involved a school bus (1,298 out of 420,000 crashes).
> Nationally, in the past 10 years, there has been an average of 9 school bus occupant fatalities each year.
> Nationally, in the past 10 years, there has been an average of 23 school bus-related pedestrian fatalities each year.
> Nationally, in the past 10 years, there have been approximately 600 school age children killed each year
While school buses maintain a safety record that is unequalled in motor vehicle transportation the occasional school bus-related fatality continues to occur. We are committed in our efforts to continuously improve school bus safety so that even rare tragedies are prevented.
The Department is pleased to provide the following fiscal year 2000 statewide school transportation statistics:
Report ED545 Transportation Safety Report –This document reports the statewide safety statistics regarding school bus safety and driver training.
Report ED546 School Bus Expenditures Per Mile–This report contains data regarding district level school bus fleets including the number of buses in the School Administrative Unit, miles traveled, and expense per mile.
Transportation costs for to and from school operations increased 7 percent from FY 1999 to FY 2000. This increase was a direct result of increases in the following cost categories: contract transportation (9.8%); salaries, wages and benefits (4.7%); fuel and other energy (42.7%); and lease expenses for buses (35.5%). The increase in contract transportation costs is a direct reflection of the increase in employment and energy costs experienced by transportation contractors. The increase in lease expense for buses is driven by district-level decisions to replace buses that are beyond their economic life but denied for cash or note subsidy due to the state approval limit of $5 million per year.
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