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Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements


American Government Buses

Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements

Jeff Michael
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
7 December 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 7, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 88320-88322]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29320]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[U.S. DOT Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0121]


Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Request for public comment on proposed collection of 
information.

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SUMMARY: Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from 
the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB). Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must solicit 
public comment on proposed collections of information, including 
extensions and reinstatements of previously approved collections.
    This document describes one collection of information for which 
NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID Number 
NHTSA-2016-0121 using any of the following methods:
    Electronic submissions: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
    Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
Docket number for this Notice. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov including any 
personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Chodrow, Office of Safety 
Programs (NPD-210), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W44-230, Washington, DC 20590. Mr. 
Chodrow's phone number is 202-366-9765 and his email address is 
Brian.Chodrow@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB 
for approval, it must publish a document in the Federal Register 
providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of 
the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of 
information. The OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must 
be included in such a document. Under OMB's regulations (at 5 CFR 
1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following:
    (i) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) how to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (iv) how to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.
    In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks public comment on 
the following proposed collection of information:
    Title: Education on Proper Use of Safety Belts on School Buses.
    Type of Request: New information collection requirement.
    OMB Clearance Number: None.
    Form Number: None.
    Requested Expiration Date of Approval: 3 years from date of 
approval.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: The National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to conduct discussions 
and informal interviews to identify school districts who have 
implemented seat belts on school buses, and to gather information to 
understand the states' and local agencies' decisions to implement seat 
belts on school buses and the funding mechanisms that are used to pay 
for seat belt installation. These discussions will be held via 
telephone, email, and/or in-person throughout the course of the 
project. The findings will be used to develop a model policy and a best 
practices guide to assist jurisdictions that are considering the use of 
seat belts on school buses.
    NHTSA also proposes to conduct a web-based survey to gather 
information about bus driver distraction as related to student behavior 
and seat belt use to see if the use of seat belts has influenced 
disruptive behavior. NHTSA expects to distribute the survey to at least 
one bus driver in each of the school districts that participate in the 
aforementioned interviews, but hopes to collect surveys from more than 
one driver in each of those school districts. The survey will not take 
more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Follow-up telephone discussions 
may also be conducted depending on the interest of respondents in 
providing additional information.
    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use of the 
Information--On average, from 2004-2013, each year eight (8) school-age 
pedestrians killed were struck by school transportation vehicles 
(school buses and non-school-bus vehicles used as school buses), and 4 
by other vehicles involved in school-bus-related crashes. During this 
same time period, on average each year six school age children are 
killed in collisions while riding in a school bus. By focusing on 
safety both in and around the school bus, we could envision a future 
where there are zero school transportation fatalities.
    There has generally been resistance against installing seat belts 
on school buses based on a variety of reasons including the existing 
safety features of school buses compared to other vehicles (i.e. taller 
and heavier vehicles, padded and high seat backs, etc.), need for 
drivers or aides to enforce wearing seat belts, cost, and other 
factors. However, it is commonly known that the use of seat belts has 
improved safety for other types of vehicles. Thus, on November 8, 2015, 
NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind stated, ``NHTSA has not always 
spoken with a clear voice on the issue of seat belts on school buses. 
So let me clear up any ambiguity now: The position of the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that seat belts save lives. 
That is true whether in a passenger car or in a big yellow bus. And 
saving lives is what we are about. So NHTSA's policy is that every 
child on every school bus should have a three-point seat belt. NHTSA 
will seek to use all the tools at our disposal to help achieve that 
goal, and today I want

[[Page 88321]]

to launch a nationwide effort to get us there.''
    The current project seeks to understand the decisions that states 
and local agencies use when deciding to implement seat belts on school 
buses and the funding mechanisms that are used to pay for seat belt 
installation. From there, model policy and a best practices guide will 
be developed to assist jurisdictions that are considering the use of 
seat belts on school buses. Finally, the project will also obtain data 
related to the role of distraction and whether seat belts aid in 
managing behavior on school buses. The project will culminate with a 
final report to explain the results and outcomes from the project's 
activities.
    Description of the Likely Respondents (Including Estimated Number, 
and Proposed Frequency of Response to the Collection of Information)--
The first step of this process is to identify school districts who have 
implemented, or are planning to implement, seat belts on their school 
buses. NHTSA will reach out to current partners and connections 
including contacts in the National Association of State Directors of 
Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), the National Association of 
Pupil Transportation (NAPT), the National School Transportation 
Association (NSTA), American School Bus Council (ASBC), school bus 
manufacturers and dealers, as well as any existing contacts in 
transportation departments, in order to help identify school districts. 
NHTSA anticipates contacting approximately 100 individuals across the 
country to ask general questions related to seat belt use in their 
jurisdictions. NHTSA will hold general discussions with these partners 
and contacts via telephone, email, and/or in person. As the goal of 
these conversations is to identify school districts that have 
implemented, or are considering implementing, seat belts on school 
buses, it is expected that these conversations will take no longer than 
5 minutes. To the extent possible, NHTSA will also identify, in 
coordination with their partners, an appropriate contact(s) in each 
school district.
    The next step, after school districts have been identified, is to 
reach out to these school districts who have agreed to provide NHTSA 
with more information and to gather information to understand the 
states' and local agencies' decisions to implement seat belts on school 
buses and the funding mechanisms that are used to pay for seat belt 
installation. Informational interviews will be conducted with State 
directors of pupil transportation and local school district 
professionals to identify policy components that influence seat belt 
acquisition and use. Prior to reaching out to any of the school 
districts, NHTSA will contact the NHTSA Regional Administrators to 
inform them of the school districts that NHTSA (through their 
contractor) intends to contact within their region. The process will 
then commence with introduction emails that NHTSA will send to the 
identified contact in each school district. The email will provide a 
brief overview of the project and discussion/interview goals, and will 
contain two attachments: (1) An introduction letter from NHTSA 
describing the goals of the project and interview process, and 
explaining how the information that they provide will be incorporated 
into the project and report, and (2) a list of discussion topics and 
questions. Although specific interview questions will be developed to 
keep the discussion on track as needed, it is expected that the actual 
interviews will occur as more of a fluid, conversational dialogue 
rather than a structured interview. NHTSA will follow up with each 
contact via telephone within 1-2 weeks of sending the email. During 
this call, NHTSA (through their contractor) will either work with the 
contact to schedule a time to conduct the interview, or will conduct 
the interview on the spot if preferred by the contact. In some cases, 
the necessary information may be retrieved through a one-time telephone 
or in-person discussion, while in other cases discussions may continue 
via telephone and email as an on-going discussion throughout the course 
of the project as school districts think of more information to provide 
or if they provide additional contacts to follow up with in their 
district. NHTSA is seeking to gather as much information as the school 
districts are willing to provide, and frequency of response and 
discussion will be driven by how involved the school district would 
like to be in the conversation. It is anticipated that the more 
detailed discussions will be held with approximately 25 individuals for 
a collective total of 100 hours, or an average of 4 hours per 
individual over an extended period.
    Finally, NHTSA will conduct a survey to gather information about 
bus driver distraction as related to student behavior and seat belt use 
to see if the use of seat belts has influenced disruptive behavior. The 
potential respondents would include bus drivers from school districts 
who have implemented seat belts. The survey will be web-based and 
should take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. NHTSA expects to 
distribute the survey to at least one bus driver in each of the school 
districts that participate in the aforementioned interviews, but hopes 
to collect surveys from more than one driver in each of those school 
districts. NHTSA will share the link to the survey with their existing 
contact(s) within that school district, and will request that they 
distribute the survey to the appropriate bus drivers within their 
school district. Follow-up discussions may also be conducted via 
telephone or email depending on the interest of respondents in 
providing additional information that may not have been captured by the 
survey.
    Throughout the project, the privacy of all participants will be 
protected. The Model Policy and Best Practices Guide, or any other 
reports developed as a result of this data collection effort, will not 
identify any individuals by name. School districts may be identified, 
but only if permission is given to NHTSA by the school district. 
Additionally, any school district identified in the Model Policy and 
Best Practices will be given the opportunity to review and edit any 
text referring directly to their school district.
    The online bus driver survey results will be password protected and 
access will only be given to team members who have been authorized by 
the Project Manager (principal investigators and research assistants). 
The survey data will be exported to an Excel[supreg] file and stored in 
a SharePoint site folder that is also only visible to those who have 
been authorized by the Project Manager. The research team will check 
the data file as soon as it is exported to the secure SharePoint folder 
to ensure that no personally identifiable information (e.g. bus driver 
name or email address) is included. Though survey respondents will be 
asked to indicate their school district, they will not be required to 
provide their name or contact information unless they wish to provide 
additional information to the project team. Any personally identifiable 
information that is provided will be kept separate from the data 
collected.
    Estimate of the Total Annual Reporting and Record Keeping Burden 
Resulting from the Collection of Information--NHTSA estimates that the 
total respondent burden for this data collection would be 133.3 hours.
    The initial discussions would take approximately 5 minutes with 100 
people for a total of 8.3 hours. The detailed discussions with school 
districts who have agreed to participate with the project will take 
place with a commitment of an average of 4 hours with 25 people for a 
total of 100 hours.

[[Page 88322]]

The bus driver survey would take 15 minutes with approximately 100 
people for a total of 25 hours.

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. Section 3506(c)(2)(A).

    Dated: December 2, 2016.
Jeff Michael,
Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2016-29320 Filed 12-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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