Consultation
Safety Rules! President Ted Finlayson-Schueler has had extensive
experience in consulting projects both small and large - see
curriculum vitae in
About Us.  Ted also is connected to other experts in
the field who of school travel who can bring additional expertise to
Safety Rules! Projects.  When an organization looks outside to find
assistance on a project, it usually means that a lot is at stake.  
Something has to be
designed, evaluated, interpreted, or
recommended
to allow the organization to move to its next desired
level.  

Whatever the project,
Safety Rules! will bring the necessary expertise
to not only complete the project, but to ensure that the final product
works in the real world, not just on paper.  The following are a few
examples of specific consultation projects.

CONSULTATION EXPERTISE

Safety, Efficiency, and Compliance Reviews

Whatever the issue; bus stop location or safety, ride time, bell times,
policy and procedures, or legal compliance at the state and federal
level, an outside perspective can provide expertise and clarity to issues
that have been raised internally but have not been resolved.  Call
Safety Rules! to provide an objective review of the situation and offer
recommendations in line with legal requirements and national best
practice.

Relative Risks of Modifying Transportation Eligibility

School Boards pay close attention to the potential of dollar savings for
reduction in school bus service, while often failing to also calculate the
outcome in terms of student safety.   Changes in transportation
modes, between school bus or cars or walking, have quantifiable
outcomes in terms of risk, and school boards should not implement
changes without understanding the risks – not only to best serve their
children, but also to protect themselves from future litigation.  This
service will identify changes in risk through analysis of bus eligibility
and identification of likely alternative transportation choices.  Further,
risk-reduction strategies for all operating modes will be provided for
district consideration.

Ted Finlayson-Schueler was a member of the National Academies of
Science Transportation Research Board Committee that wrote the
book
The Relative Risks of School Travel and is experienced in
evaluating school travel safety involving many different transportation
modes.  

School Site Traffic Analysis and Recommendations

School sites are often a jumble of buses, parent cars, driving students,
staff, and maintenance and delivery vehicles both morning and
afternoon. Ten percent of all student school bus fatalities happen on
school sites.  Many schools were not designed for the traffic load that
is present today.  All pedestrians, whether they walked to school or are
walking to or from a vehicle are at risk in this chaos.  A school site
traffic analysis will identify all the user groups wanting access and will
outline policy and strategies to meet the needs each group.  One
school or multiple schools can be a part of this study.

Ted Finlayson-Schueler wrote the book on this subject – literally.  As
author of
School Site Safety Planning: for Vehicle and Pedestrian
Traffic
, Ted brings extensive expertise in school districts around the
country, including the streets of Washington, DC, to the process of
planning safe school traffic patterns.  Ted can work in concert with
district architects and engineers to implement plans or to review new
school plans for effectiveness.

Route and Stop Safety Assessment

Route and stop safety are the backbone of school bus safety.  There
are three supports necessary for safe school transportation, good
policy, good training, and consistent implementation.  Safety Rules!
can bring the necessary expertise to review and recommend policy and
procedures necessary for safe routes and stops, implement training
for both drivers and students in stop and route safety including use of
universal crossing and danger signals, review route and stop design
practices, and evaluate individual stops or routes that have been
identified for study.

Safety Rules! President, Ted Finlayson-Schueler’s book, Safe Routes
– Safe Stops
has been utilized by school districts around the country in
making good decisions about planning for safe routes and safe
stops.   His expertise on this topic has been recognized through
presentations at National Conferences and in the trenches of urban,
suburban, and rural school districts.

Transportation of Children with Disabilities

Transportation of children with disabilities, often called Special Needs
transportation, is as varied as the needs of children transported.  A free
appropriate public education may include the related service of
transportation.  If it does, transportation must be provided in the Least
Restrictive Environment possible to meet the needs of that individual
child.  Understanding how issues relative to
Equipment, Training,
Staffing, and Scheduling
must be addressed to provide transportation
that meets the standards established in IDEA (Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act) is vital to provide appropriate service to the
child and to protect the school district from liability.

Ted Finlayson-Schueler began his career in school transportation
behind the wheel of a bus driving children with severe emotional and
physical disabilities.  He is currently a doctoral candidate in the
Disability Studies program at Syracuse University.  His involvement
over the years includes involvement in the development of instructional
videos and training program, statewide surveys of special needs
transportation, ride time analysis, and numerous workshops and
presentations at national conferences.

Contact
Safety Rules! to undertake a review of your operation, policy,
procedures, training, and equipment.  Let us offer recommendations,
write policy or procedures, or design training to make your operation a
"best practice" special needs operation.

Coordinated Transportation

School buses are often the largest fleet of vehicles in non-urban
communities, and yet this fleet often serves only school children;
leaving
unmet many transportation needs of workers, seniors, those
with disabilities, and those needing to access services of social
service agencies or medical professionals.  The concept of
coordinated transportation is the coordination of all transportation
resources in a community to best serve the entire community.  It does
not mean taking away services from those currently receiving them i.e.
school children, but identifying potential
excess capacity of vehicles
or time
that can fulfill unmet transportation needs elsewhere in the
community.

Any discussion of broadening the use of vehicles in a fleet, or co-
mingling of passengers, raises many issues in a community or a
state.  
Safety Rules! can serve as the moderator of the discussion,
leading the community through a survey or transportation capacity and
a discussion of how best to allocate staff, vehicles, and revenue.

Expert Witness

When injuries occur, lawsuits often follow.  Safety Rules! can provide
expert, objective analysis of the circumstances of incidents from a best
practice and compliance perspective.  Accurate, comprehensive
compilation of procedures, practice, and policy in place are vital to
evaluate not only the incident, but also the system where the incident
occurred.  
Safety Rules! does not limit its work to working for either
defendants or plaintiffs as some experts do.  Safe operation is not a
function of who is asking the questions.
School Travel by bus, car, bike, or foot