Wednesday, April 04, 2007

House Approves Bill Increasing School Bus Security

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation containing a provision by U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) to improve school bus security. At the request of Etheridge, the bill includes a provision to require that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) perform a comprehensive threat assessment for school transportation and make recommendations to DHS and Congress on how to respond to those threats. The Etheridge provision complements the rest of the bill, which closes security gaps in rail and mass transit safety efforts. The legislation provides support and guidance for training, grants security planning, research and development and securing hazardous materials. The Etheridge school bus provision was originally suggested by Derek Graham of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Graham is also the President of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. School buses have been targets of terrorists not only in countries such as Israel , Thailand , Yemen , and African countries, but also in Canada and the United States . The legislation must next be approved by the Senate.


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