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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-04-016
Synopsis: On April 4, 2002, about 8:19 a.m., a 15-passenger Ford E-350 van, driven by a 27-year-old driver and transporting six children to school, was southbound in the left lane of Interstate 240 in Memphis, Tennessee. The van was owned and operated by Tippy Toes Learning Academy (Tippy Toes), a private child care center. A witness driving behind the van stated that the vehicle was traveling about 65 mph when it drifted from the left lane, across two other lanes, and off the right side of the roadway. She said that she did not see any brake lights. The van then overrode the guardrail and continued to travel along the dirt and grass embankment until the front of the van collided with the back of the guardrail and a light pole. The rear of the van rotated counterclockwise and the front and right side of the van struck the bridge abutment at the Person Avenue overpass before coming to rest. The driver was ejected through the windshield and sustained fatal injuries. Four of the children sustained fatal injuries, and two were seriously injured.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN: As part of your accreditation program, establish a transportation safety accreditation that requires applicants to implement the following elements: Use of vehicles built to school bus standards or of multifunction school activity buses; A regular vehicle maintenance and inspection program; A requirement that occupants wear age-appropriate restraints at all times; A requirement that drivers receive a criminal background check and have a medical examination to determine fitness to drive; Preemployment, random, postaccident, and "for cause" drug testing for all child care transportation providers and the prohibition of anyone who tests positive for drugs from transporting children; Review by an oversight agency of periodic driver background checks, medical examinations, and drug test results; and A requirement that child care vehicles be labeled with the child care center's and oversight agency's names and phone numbers.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Memphis, TN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: hwy02MH015
Accident Reports: 15-Passenger Child Care Van Run-Off-Road Accident
Report #: HAR-04-02
Accident Date: 4/4/2002
Issue Date: 4/21/2004
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: National Association for the Education of Young Children (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Child Restraint Systems,Restraint Systems

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Date: 7/18/2014
Response: We last received a letter regarding this recommendation from you in August 2010. At that time, your Governing Board had adopted revised accreditation criteria that addressed several of the recommended elements, but did not specifically address drug testing. You stated that you were planning to resubmit the remaining elements of this recommendation for consideration as part of a periodic criteria review in 2010. Accordingly, on November 29, 2010, we classified Safety Recommendation H 04-16 OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE pending our receipt of the revised accreditation criteria. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. Therefore, please inform us about the progress of your actions to implement Safety Recommendation H-04-16, preferably electronically at If a response, including attachments, exceeds 10 megabytes, please e mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response. Normally, we expect actions to address our safety recommendations to be completed within 5 years. As Safety Recommendation H-04-16 is now 10 years old, we would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90 days informing us of actions that have been taken or that you plan to take to implement it. Pending our timely receipt of your reply, the recommendation will retain its current classification.

From: NTSB
To: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Date: 11/29/2010
Response: The NTSB understands that, in 2005, NAEYC made many of the requested changes to its accreditation criteria. However, its revisions do not specifically address drug testing or the review of driver background checks, medical examinations, or drug testing results by an oversight agency (the fifth and sixth elements of the recommendation). Because NAEYC will consider addressing these remaining issues in the pending revision to their accreditation criteria, Safety Recommendation H-04-16 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. The NTSB would appreciate receiving periodic updates on this effort, as well as a copy of the revised accreditation criteria when the revisions are complete.

From: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Date: 8/19/2010
Response: This letter is In response to your August 5,2010 letter regarding Safety Recommendation H-04-16 to incorporate elements regarding transportation safety in our accreditation process. At the time that your request was submitted, the NAEYC Accreditation Criteria were under review. Revised Criteria were adopted in Spring 2005. I apologize that you were not informed of the revisions, but in fact they did incorporate the majority of elements that you requested. The 2005 Criteria do not specifically address drug testing, although one criterion (10.E.02) does address "a current health assessment that attests to the prospective employee's ability to perform the tasks required to carry out the responsibilities of the position." And, the Criteria do not address the review by an oversight agency. All the other recommendations are specifically stated in,the criterla.lwas not privy to the deliberations of the body that forwarded the recommendations to the NAEYC Governing Board for approval so cannot provide any ~dditional inform.a.tion as to why this provision was not adopted. , AS'it happens; aperiodic review process for the criteria is now underway. I have forwarded the recommendation to our Academy staff so that the additional language can again be considered for full inclusion during this revision process which should be completed next year.

From: NTSB
To: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Date: 8/5/2010
Response: NMC103462: The NTSB has not yet received a response from NAEYC regarding this recommendation and would appreciate an update on what, if anything, you have done to address this important safety issue. The NTSB is vitally interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. That is why we monitor the implementation of our recommendations. The NTSB would appreciate being informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation H-04-16.