Safer School Buses for New Orleans Charters

kids getting on school bus

Safer School Buses for New Orleans Charters

It’s time for safer school buses for New Orleans Charters. Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration has been working on a plan to stamp out New Orleans school bus violations for some time now. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, the city’s public school system has become a loosely regulated charter school system, one where each charter management system is responsible for hiring its own school bus service.

On Feb. 8, the New Orleans City Council approved rules proposed by Mayor Cantrell’s administration that are designed to correct problems officials recently found on some buses that they said threatened children’s safety. The council passed a new ordinance to require school bus vendors and drivers to get CPNC for-hire licenses, receive city inspections, perform background checks on drivers and notify the city of where each school bus is stored when it’s not in use. Their drivers must wear ID tags and undergo background checks, and their buses will be routinely inspected. Violations will result in fines and suspension of driving privileges. The new rules also require proof that each bus is insured and covered under at least $1 million in general liability coverage, costing $20,000 to $30,000 per bus. These rules are expected to go into effect before the next school year.

The city will also take problem buses off the roads. The ordinance gives the city the right to cite bus firms instead of property owners when buses are illegally parked on private property.

Under the new ordinance, the city’s Ground Transportation Bureau will issue permits by next school year to each bus in a private company’s fleet and to each driver of a bus or any vehicle that shuttles children. Companies will receive the permits at no charge but will have to pay $150 annually to renew a license and $50 each for the two annual inspections required for each bus.

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.