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                                  SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS –
                                    TRUE PROFESSIONALS

                                         Messages from the Ministers of
                                         Education and Transportation
                                             SAFELY CROSSING THE TRACKS
                                                THE DRIVE TO LEAD OTHERS
                                               Conquering Distractions
placement instructions
        p. 2
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SCHOOLBUS                                                                                                               NOVEMBER 2014 Volume 23

                                                                                                                                      school              bus

contents                                                                                                                  For school councils, home and school
                                                                                                                          associations, trustees, administrators
                                                                                                                          and providers of student transportation
     5	Message from Leslie Cross,                                  14	Safely Crossing the Tracks                        The Ontario School Bus Association
           OSBA President                                                                                                 (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing

                                                                    16	ACET Trains for First Aid…                        advocacy and education services for the
                                                                                                                          owners of school bus fleets, school boards/
     6	OSBA Directors 2014-2015                                            and Confidence                                transportation consortia and supplier/
                                                                                                                          manufacturer companies across Ontario for
                                                                                                                          over 60 years. Membership is voluntary; our
     8	Messages from the Minister of                               18	Conquering Distractions: Mind on the              Board of Directors are all volunteers elected
                                                                                                                          by their peers.
           Transportation and the Minister                                  Driving, Eyes on the Road and Hands
                                                                                                                          MISSION, VISION & VALUES
           of Education                                                     on the Wheel                                  Every one of the 825,000 children aboard
                                                                                                                          an Ontario school bus deserves to arrive
   10	School Bus Drivers –                                         20	Twinkle Twinkle Little Light…Rooftop              at school safe, secure, on time and ready
                                                                                                                          to learn.
           True Professionals                                               Strobe Lights on School Buses
                                                                                                                          OSBA Mission
                                                                                                                          To support and enhance the success of
   12	Rural Consortia Takes Proactive                              21	Be Seen, Be Safe Program                          our members in the competitive world of
                                                                                                                          school busing.
           Approach with Enroute
           Evacuation Drill                                         22      The Drive to Lead Others                      OSBA Vision
                                                                                                                          An economically healthy and sustainable
                                                                                                                          industry, safely and reliably serving the
   13	Industry Leader – Training Video                             24	Education, Information and                        growing needs of student transportation
                                                                                                                          in Ontario.
           for Special Needs Passengers                                     Networking Opportunities that Benefit
                                                                                                                          OSBA Values
           Evacuation                                                       the School Bus Industry                       • Contribute to student success
                                                                                                                          • Focus on cost effective and
                                                                    26      Index to Advertisers                             efficient operations
                                                                                                                          • Commit to continuous improvement
                                                                                                                          • Embrace diversity in our workplaces
                                                                                                                          • Make a significant contribution to a
                                                                                                                             greener Ontario
                                                                                                                          • Anticipate and influence the future shape
                                                                                                                             of the school bus industry

Published annually by:                                      Published for:                                  Editor: Laurie J. Blake
                                                            Ontario School Bus Association                  Group Publisher: Angela Caroyannis
                                                            3401 Wolfedale Road,                            Project Manager: Kim Davies
                                                            Mississauga, ON L5C 1V8                         Sales Manager: Bill McDougall
1630 Ness Avenue, Suite 300                                 Tel: (416) 695-9965 Fax: (416) 695-9977         Advertising Director: Maria Antonation
Winnipeg, MB R3J 3X1                                        Email:                          Advertising Sales: Bill Biber, Austen Hoey,
Tel: (800) 665-2456                                                                 Wayne Jury, Michael McDonald, Maya Wisher
Fax: (204) 947-2047                                                                                         Marketing: Katie Doerksen                                                                                              Layout & Design: Barry Senyk
                                                            Association Director: Michele O’Bright
                                                            Magazine Coordinator: Donna Shepherd
©2014 Naylor (Canada) Inc.                                  Safety & Legislation Consultant:                Publication Agreement
All rights reserved. The contents of this publication       David Carroll                                   Number: 40064978
may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in          Government Relations Consultant:                PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2014/
part, without the prior written consent of the publisher.   Richard Donaldson                               SBU-A0014/4198

           4 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014

                           Message from
                           Leslie Cross
                           President, Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA)

          s I sit down to write this message, it is now the end of second week of the 2014-2015 school year. Approximately
          825,000 students have been transported safely to and from school for 9 days in row. In a short two weeks, the
          dedicated professionals who accept the tremendous responsibility for our children’s safety have had more than
 15 million opportunities to make a difference in a family’s life. By the end of this school year, Ontario’s professional
 school bus drivers will have had over 350 million personal interactions with our children. Getting it wrong just once
 can have a devastating impact on a child, a family, and a community. The dedicated women and men who make up the
 Ontario school bus industry are committed to getting it right every time.

    For more than 60 years the school bus industry has been          In more recent years, school boards were brought
 part of ongoing change and evolution. New technology             together to form Transportation Consortia in order to
 has provided us with safer buses. Buses with stop arms,          amalgamate transportation requirements, maximize effi-
 warning lights, crossing gates, stop arm cameras, video          ciencies and minimize costs for two or more school boards
 surveillance cameras, GPS tracking systems, motion detec-        in one geographic region. Through these amalgamations,
 tors and child check systems. The industry has advanced in       Consortia did an excellent job of sharing the availability of
 driver training programs, driver licence checks, criminal        one bus to service two or more boards. They successfully
 records vetting, medical records screening and ongoing           reduced the number of vehicles needed, reducing costs
 driver evaluations. All of these safety initiatives have         for taxpayers and reducing our environmental footprint.
 increased the cost of service, but who would argue that          A win-win for all Ontarians.
 these were not valuable enhancements for the sole purpose           In 2010, the Ontario provincial government intro-
 of protecting the safety of our children?                        duced The Broader Public Sector Accountability Act
    In Ontario, we have an enviable record when it comes          (BPSAA). This change to the law required all publicly
 to student transportation safety, and we are proud of that       funded expenditures by public entities, such as school
 record. To get it right 100% of the time “takes a village”. In   boards/transportation consortia, which exceed $100,000,
 order to achieve the level of safe, reliable, on-time service    be competitively procured. Industry stakeholders partici-
 upon which parents can depend, we rely on our front-line         pated in numerous consultations, studies and pilot projects
 drivers, driver trainers, safety supervisors, dispatchers,       to prepare the industry for this fundamental change. In
 mechanics, route planners, managers, Consortia staff,            light of this significant shift towards greater account-
 school boards, principals, teachers, administrators, trustees,   ability and transparency, a number of “growing pains”
 Ministries of Transportation and Education. All of these         have been encountered across the industry with some
 people share one incredible quality – their dedication to        companies deciding to exit the industry or to no longer
 continuously improving safety.                                   conduct business in certain regions.
    Our duty of care and safety remains the cornerstone              Notwithstanding this enormous paradigm shift, school
 of transporting children to school each day. In recent           boards have a long history of working hand-in-hand with
 years a lot of time and energy has been invested into how        school bus operators to design and deliver routes that trans-
 school bus services are purchased in Ontario. Historically,      port students to school safety and ready to learn. OSBA’s
 school bus operators negotiated a common contract with           mandate continues to work towards building partnerships
 local school boards. Operators and the business manag-           with all school boards/transportation consortia to ensure
 ers from the school boards worked together to understand         that student safety remains at the top of all agendas.
 the costs associated with providing the services that the           The process of procuring school bus transportation is
 district required. The costs associated with ongoing safety      not about low cost, at any cost. It is paramount to always
 enhancements, including professional driver development          ensure efficiency and effectiveness; however, all stake-
 and the ongoing general costs for buses, wages and fuel          holders including the Provincial government, Ministry of
 were well understood and negotiated collectively.                Education, school boards, transportation consortia and

                                                                                            SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 5

bus operators, must continue to understand and appreciate        President, Les Cross
the true cost of delivering this safe, essential service. The    Stock Transportation Ltd.
                                                                 128 Wellington St. W., Barrie, ON L4N 1K9
enviable safety record of the industry cannot be comprised.      Tel. (705) 737-9847 ext. 52004
It is imperative to move forward in developing a procure-
ment system that is fair and transparent and recognizes the      Vice-President, Mark Begg
importance of supporting professional school bus drivers         Delaney Bus Lines Ltd.
and the professional school bus operators who reinvest in        16935 County Road 43, Avonmore, ON K0C 1C0
                                                                 (613) 346-2511
their people and their fleets to keep students safe every day.
    OSBA has been advocating a positive solution for many
                                                                 Treasurer, Chris Harwood
years. The Board of Directors of the Ontario School Bus          Student Transportation Canada
Association, under the leadership of Past President Perry        160 Saunders Rd., Unit 6, Barrie, ON L4N 9A4
Ferguson, has worked tirelessly to educate the leadership of     Tel. (705)-721-2626 ext. 1
Ontario on the importance of reevaluating the competitive
procurement of student transportation services and review-       Past President, Perry Ferguson
                                                                 Voyageur Transportation Services
ing the funding that is allocated to the school bus industry.    573 Admiral Court, London, ON N5V 4L3
We have been heard, and in June 2014 Premier Wynne               Tel. (519) 455-4579
sent a letter of commitment to both of these much needed
reviews. In this magazine, Minister Sandals also reaffirms       Director, Kirk Flach
the Government’s commitment to explore various options for       Landmark Student Transportation Ltd.
                                                                 16 Industrial Parkway S., Ste. 101, Aurora, ON L4G 0R4
the competitive procurement of student transportation that are   Tel. (289) 840-7110
in keeping with the BPSAA. In the months ahead, OSBA is
looking forward to participating with industry stakeholders      Director, Raymond Goulden
on continuous improvements in safety and service, unham-         Beaulieu Bus Lines
pered by the realities of competitive procurement.               PO Box 1285, Longlac, ON P0T 2A0
                                                                 Tel. (807) 854-0479
    On August 11, 2014, the OSBA Board of Directors revi-
talized the association’s strategic plan with a major focus      Director, Dave Harris
on several key objectives and strategies including continued     First Student Canada
investment in industry safety and legislative consultancy,       1111 International Blvd, Suite 700, Burlington, ON L7L 6W1
expanding the engagement of members and investing in             Tel. (289) 288-4359 ext. 331
public relations. As current OSBA President, it is a great
                                                                 Director, Tom Jezersek
honour to work with such dedicated Board volunteers and          Pacific Western Transportation
contractors who remain committed to ensuring credibility,        823 Highfield Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4C7
professionalism and student safety in all association activi-    Tel. (403) 398-6980
ties and for the Ontario school bus industry.          
    It is my sincere belief that the dedicated professional      Director, Brian Jobson
                                                                 DanNel Transportation
women and men driving our children from home to school           10-12 Keefer Rd., St. Catharines, ON L2M 7N9
and back to their families each day will benefit from all        Tel. (905) 934-1124
the hard work that is going on behind the scenes at OSBA.
Safety requires an investment. A well-trained, long-term         Director, Kevin Langs
professional driver behind the wheel of a safe, reliable bus     Langs Bus Lines Limited
                                                                 66 Zimmerman Ave. S., Strathroy, ON N7G 2G7
is worth every penny Ontarians invest. As guardians of the       Tel. (519) 245-2350
students in their care, government, school boards, transporta-
tion consortia and bus operators will need to expeditiously      Director, Nick McRae
work together to resolve the procurement issues that have        Roxborough Bus Lines Ltd.
engaged the school bus industry for a number of years.           RR 1, 17504 Dyer Rd., Maxville, ON K0C 1T0
                                                                 Tel. (613) 488-2337
OSBA looks forward to a new era of collaboration dedicated
to continuous improvement in safety. By our collective and
                                                                 Director, Jim Switzer
continuous support we will empower the many dedicated            Switzer-Carty Transportation Inc.
and professional school bus drivers to continue to provide       1006 Plains Rd. E., Burlington, ON L7T 4K2
350 million positive interactions with our children this year,   Tel. (289) 288-1366, ext. 107
next year and for decades to come.
                                                                 Association Director, Michele O’Bright
                                                                 3401 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga, ON L5C 1V8
   Les Cross                                                     Tel. (416) 695-9965 ext. 3
   President, OSBA                                    

        6 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
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                                                                              SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014   7
                                                                                                 30/08/13   1:20 AM
Message from                                            Message from
                          Steven                                                  Liz
                          Del Duca                                                Sandals
                          Minister of                                             Minister of
                          Transportation                                          Education

S                                                       E
       chool buses are a familiar sight on Ontario            very morning in Ontario, more than 825,000 students get to school safely
       roads. Every day, more than 825,000 stu-               and on time because they have access to a world-class network of student
       dents travel in about 18,000 school vehicles           transportation services. For most students, that means a school bus, those
across Ontario.                                         iconic yellow symbols of education recognized around the world and revered
    As a parent of two young children, I know many      by families for their dependable service and professional operators.
parents rely on school buses to get their children
to and from school. I also know that every parent            Ontario is a leader when it comes to excellence in student transportation ser-
wants to make sure their children stay safe in their    vices. We never get tired of telling people there are over 18,000 school buses or
travels every day.                                      school-purpose vehicles used every day, each of them supporting student achieve-
    I am proud to report that our province’s school     ment, promoting equity and enhancing public confidence in our education system.
buses and drivers are among the safest in North         And despite travelling nearly two-million kilometres daily, Ontario’s student
America. School buses are among the safest ways         transportation services have an impeccable track record when it comes to safety.
for our children to travel. Research shows that rid-         The quality of service you provide is reflective of the school board administra-
ing the school bus is 16 times safer than travelling    tors and bus operators who expertly deliver student transportation and maintain
in the family car.                                      the transportation network. Whether you are responsible for driving the bus or
    Ontario’s school buses are the safest they have     planning the bus routes, your work is highly regarded by our government. More
ever been. They reflect the most current safety         importantly, it is highly respected by those you serve – students and their families.
features available for new school buses. In the past         Significant investments and ongoing modernization are also helping to
decade alone, we have added a crossing arm on the       keep student transportation moving in the right direction. Our government
front of the bus, better side mirrors for the driver,   has increased student transportation funding to approximately $884 million in
lights around the entrance and exit doors of the        2014-15, an increase of 40 per cent since 2003.
bus and more emergency exit windows.                         I am also pleased that we are moving ahead with our commitment for an
    We’ve also heard from school bus drivers and        independent review of competitive procurement processes for student transpor-
companies about your concerns for making school         tation. The review will look at current competitive procurement practices and
buses safer. That’s why this past spring we intro-      student transportation Requests for Proposals to identify best business practices
duced legislation, re-introduced this fall, to make     and opportunities for improvement in competitive procurement of student trans-
sure school buses are the only buses permitted to       portation in Ontario. The review will also explore options other than RFPs for
be painted chrome yellow.                               competitive procurement of student transportation that are in compliance with
    The Ministry of Transportation works closely        the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive for the consideration of the
with schools, road safety groups and school bus         school board sector in Ontario.
companies to promote school bus safety. We’re                As you can tell, I am very appreciative of our student transportation services
committed to educating students and parents about       and those who deliver them. We are committed to the ongoing modernization
important safety rules and reminding all drivers of     of the sector because, like everything in education, we know there is always
their responsibility to stop for school buses when      more to do, improvements to make and goals to achieve.
they’re picking up or dropping off passengers.               I am grateful to have strong stakeholders such as Ontario’s school boards and
    Keeping our children safe takes hard work and       school bus operators to help us in the modernization process, and ensure we get
dedication from all our safety partners. As a par-      it right. That requires a healthy dialogue between our government, school boards,
ent and as Minister of Transportation, I extend my      operators, families and more. Thank you to all who are reading this and have
gratitude to the Ontario School Bus Association         contributed to this ongoing conversation.
and its members. Because of your commitment,                 In closing, I wish you all a wonderful 2014-15 school year. I look forward
parents across the province can know their children     to working with you all as we strive to achieve excellence, ensure equity,
are safe when travelling to and from school.            promote well-being and enhance public confidence in our publicly funded
                                                        education system.

        8 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    le in
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sudbury Student Services Consortium de services aux élèves de Sudbury. All rights reserved.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 15/08/14                                                                                              12:57 AM
School Bus Drivers –
By Mark Begg

             hat comes to mind when you
             hear the term “professional”?
             Lawyer, doctor, accountant or
engineer? Perhaps you think of a teacher,
police officer, pilot or athlete. These pro-
fessions are generally associated with
lengthy qualifications and often require
years of study, training or experience.
Whatever your definition of a “profes-
sional” entails, it should include one
more: school bus drivers. And here’s why.
    School bus drivers not only require
qualifications to operate a larger vehicle,
they must also undertake countless hours
of training, are subjected to numerous
evaluations, be certified in First Aid, CPR
and the use of EpiPens, undergo defensive
driving refresher courses, student man-
agement training and ensure our most
vulnerable passengers are delivered into       above and beyond their regular work           and the Infrastructure Health & Safety
proper care each and every day.                duties and providing outstanding per-         Association (IHSA) also provide some
    The argument can also be made              formance. But when the difficult global       excellent opportunities to help employers
that school bus drivers act as parents,        economy occurred several years ago,           provide recognition to their employees.
safety crusaders, friends, emergency           many companies were forced to cut back
first responders, conflict resolution          on incentive programs or put them on          Certified Professional
specialists, negotiators, search and res-      hold in order to stay financially viable.     Bus Operator
cue officers, inclement weather experts,           However, based on more recent                The Motor Carrier Passenger Council
petroleum engineers, vehicle technicians       research, such as the McKinsey Survey         of Canada (MCPCC) was founded in
and transportation analysts.                   undertaken in the Fall 2009, non-cash         January 1999, as a Human Resources
    Furthermore, most school buses are         motivators are no less and can be more        Sector Council, and brought together
now equipped with electronic communi-          effective motivators than highly-rated        all bus sectors, labour, education and
cation technology, passenger-monitoring        financial incentives, such as:                government, in order to address criti-
video systems, automatic vehicle-loca-         • Praise from immediate managers;             cal human resources issues that were
tion systems, global positioning systems       • Leadership attention (such as one-on-       affecting all areas of the Canadian bus
and computerized information systems.             one conversations with someone in a        industry. Over the past 15 years, the
This increasingly sophisticated face of           leadership role);                          MCPCC has built a professional suite of
bus transportation means that a wide           • A chance to lead or participate on          ground-breaking programs including the
variety of skills are required, including         company projects or initiatives.           National Occupational Standards (NOS),
business, technical and social skills. As          Given the results of recent surveys,      accreditation and certification, labour
a result, school bus drivers must partici-     how can any individual or organization        market information, best practices and
pate in an on-going process of acquir-         provide recognition to these dedicated        e-learning tools.
ing new skills and knowledge. When             and professional men and women?                  More specifically, the MCPCC,
you bring together all of these varied             The next time your local school bus       working with unions, bus companies,
and multiple responsibilities, it could        driver picks up or drops off a group of       associations, educational institutions,
certainly be said that school bus drivers      students, why not take a moment to say        government and individual operators
are “professionals” in many ways and           “Thank you. Great job!” Or, the next time     from coast to coast, developed a certi-
deserve to be recognized as such.              you are waiting in traffic and see flashing   fication program that allows bus drivers
    In the past, many believed that money      lights on a school bus, perhaps simply        to earn the designation as a “Certified
and other non-monetary incentives were         smile and wait patiently as children enter    Professional Bus Operator (CPBO).”
generally the best way to recognize and        or exit safely to their destination.             “Certification” means formal rec-
motivate employees. Bonuses and other              Moreover, the Motor Carrier Pass-         ognition and professional designation
rewards were given to workers for going        enger Council of Canada (MCPCC)               of licensed bus operators who have

        10 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
– True Professionals
  demonstrated their knowledge, experi-                                                        Nationview Public School in South
  ence and abilities evaluated against the                                                 Mountain, Ontario recently awarded
  National Occupational Standards.                                                         one of their school bus drivers, Deborah
      To be eligible for designation as a                                                  Marriner, with a “Character Always”
  CPBO, an individual must have received                                                   award as part of their monthly recog-
  training through an accredited train-                                                    nition ceremony. Laurie McElheran,
  ing program (accreditation available                                                     Principal at Nationview Public School
  through the MCPCC), or have evidence                                                     said, “Deb takes great pride in her job
  of completed training which meets the                                                    and has tremendous courage to ensure
  National Occupational Standards; have                                                    everyone arrives both at school and
  three years bus operator experience;                                                     home safely. Nationview has an awe-
  hold an applicable driving licence for                                                   some team looking after our students
  the sector to which certification is being                                               and it is important for us to recognize
  sought; and must consent to abide by the     Richard Fleming, School Bus Driver at       these very important people.”
                                               Delaney Bus Lines, receiving CPBO certif-
  MCPCC’s Code of Ethics.                      icate from Mark Begg, General Manager.
                                                                                               The Office of the State Superintendent
      Receiving his certification as a CPBO                                                Division of Student Transportation (OSSE
  at the company’s start-up meeting in         individuals and giving them confidence      DOT), a regional transportation system
  August 2014, Delaney Bus Lines Limited       in the company; providing documenta-        that transports special needs students in
  school bus driver, Richard Fleming, said     tion of the employee’s history of safety;   the District of Columbia, introduced a
  “Having seen some of my fellow driv-         and demonstrating to customers and oth-     recognition program to celebrate out-
  ers receive this designation in the past     ers that quality of service is provided.    standing school bus drivers and atten-
  gave me something to look forward to.            Darlene McNamara, a school bus          dants. The overall goal of the program is
  I’m proud to be a school bus driver and      and motor coach driver with Delaney         to boost employee morale and promote
  even more so to work for a company           Bus Lines Limited received her 23-year      the highest standards of professionalism
  that takes the time to recognize their       safe driving award pin this past August.    and compassion. Nominations for the pro-
  drivers’ efforts.”                           McNamara said “It is with great pride       gram are collected from schools, parents
      Joan Crawford, Executive Director        that I wear my safe driver award pin. Not   and students through an online survey.
  of the MCPCC sums up the Council’s           only does it mean I have maintained a       Each month OSSE DOT recognizes one
  belief in accreditation, saying, “This       safe driving record, it also means I have   exemplary bus driver and attendant from
  program clearly demonstrates that            maintained my passengers’ safety – and      each of its four bus terminals. The driv-
  the bus sector is a vital contributor to     for me, that is priority number one.”       ers and attendants receive a silver lapel
  Canada’s economy and is committed                                                        pin, a framed certificate, a bus magnet to
  to the development and sharing of best       Celebrating Outstanding                     display on the driver-side door of their bus
  practices. We know that our industry         School Bus Drivers                          and an engraved plaque. The drivers and
  is leading the way in professionalism           Other industry recognition initia-       attendants of the year receive a gold lapel
  and training excellence, while earning       tives have been implemented using a         pin, a framed certificate, a bus magnet to
  increased respect for individual opera-      wide variety of in-house programs to        display on the driver-side door of their
  tors and companies across the country.”      formally recognize and celebrate out-       bus and an engraved plaque.
                                               standing performance.
  Safe Driver Awards                              Student Transportation of Eastern        Return on Investment
     Similarly, the Infrastructure Health      Ontario (STEO), the transportation con-        Recognizing the professional school
  and Safety Association of Ontario            sortium for the Catholic District School    bus driver has many tangible and intangi-
  (IHSA) established their safe driver         Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO),          ble benefits. Not only does it let employ-
  award program to provide employers           and the Upper Canada District School        ees know that their work is valued and
  with a system to recognize the health and    Board (UCDSB), implemented an               appreciated, it also gives them a sense of
  safety performance of their employees.       “Outstanding Bus Driver” recognition        ownership and belonging in their place
     The benefits of IHSA’s safe driver        program. Students are invited to com-       of work. When a driver feels appreci-
  award program includes: demonstrat-          plete an on-line form highlighting the      ated, they are most likely to contribute to
  ing the importance of working safely;        reasons why they are nominating their       the overall success of the organization,
  demonstrating the company’s appre-           bus driver. Winning drivers are recog-      and ultimately the industry, knowing
  ciation of a job well done; improving        nized with a certificate of outstanding     that their roles are valued. Furthermore,
  employee morale; building confidence in      work and a gift of appreciation             formal recognition can help contribute

                                                                                                 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 11
to positive employee morale, enhance
      company loyalty and ultimately help          Rural Consortia Takes Proactive
      employee retention.
         Having been a long-time proponent of      Approach with
      driver recognition, Tom Jezersek, Vice-
      President of student transportation for
      Pacific Western says, “The roles and         Evacuation
      responsibilities of a school bus driver
      are endless. Simply put, doing whatever      Drill

      we can to help raise awareness of their           n Northwestern Ontario the
      important roles, and provide them with            challenge is not the number of
      all the recognition that we can, is the           students but servicing the exten-
      least we can do as an employer.”             sive geography. This Consortium area spans approximately 80,000 sq. km. As
         Whichever method an individual or         a result, the Northwestern Ontario Student Services Consortium’s buses carry
      organization recognizes a school bus         students from multiple schools and school boards on the same buses. Although
      driver, it is important to simply acknowl-   evacuation drills are occurring at local schools, students did not have any oppor-
      edge them. The MCPCC Certified               tunity to practice the drill with their fellow bus students.
      Professional Bus Operator designation,          During the 2013/14 school year, in co-operation with area bus operators, an
      the IHSA Safe Driver Award Program           Enroute Evacuation Drill Program was developed. Two planned drills occurred
      and recognition programs such as those       where sites were pre-determined and the driver conducted either a narrative or
      implemented by STEO, Nationview              physical evacuation with the students. General Manager, Judi Green, stated,
      Public School, and OSSE DOT provide          “This program has had positive feedback from both the parents and bus driv-
      formal opportunities to distinguish the      ers. With the challenging winter we had in the North, the training was used on
      men and women who, undeniably, make          several occasions.”
      this a professional industry.

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               12 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
593164_Snow.indd 1                                      7/14/12 9:38:03
                                                                        AM               1                                   8/16/10 4:23:12 PM
Industry Leader
Training Video for Special
Needs Passengers Evacuation
        he safety and care of children                                                             video will be available, by the mid to end
        is constantly at the forefront of                                                          of December 2014, to all Ontario School
        each and every school board,                                                               Bus Association (OSBA) bus operator
transportation consortium, bus opera-                                                              and transportation consortia members
tor and school bus driver not only in                                                              as part of their annual membership pro-
Ontario, but across Canada. Over the                                                               gram, and to all OASBO Transportation
past couple of years, a very special group                                                         Committee members. For non-members
of volunteers have worked together to                                                              wishing to purchase a copy of this DVD,
not only maintain their vision of ensur-                                                           please complete the order form found on
ing maximum safety of special needs                                                                the OSBA website at the following link:
student transportation in Ontario, but                                                   
for increasing awareness and develop-                                                                 Sincere thanks is extended to the
ing a product to help train and involve                                                            following volunteers who gave tire-
professional school bus drivers, parents                                                           lessly of their time and effort to bring
and special needs children.                         Beth Buttenham of Stock                        this video to fruition: Renée Boucher
    “We were unable to find a training           Transportation is pleased with the pro-           (Sudbury Student Services Consortium),
video that included Canadian vehicles,           duction of this DVD and says, “Parents,           Michel Boyer (Consortium de Transport
using real students and authentic sce-           teachers and students alike can feel              Scolaire de L’Est), Beth Buttenham
narios to specifically train new and             assured that this DVD will help all               (Stock Transportation), Cindy Cain
seasoned school bus drivers and oth-             school bus drivers think about what is            (Veolia Transportation), John Hollick
ers to deal with evacuation prepared-            done to evacuate students with special            (Camera/Editor-First Student Canada),
ness of students with special needs.”            needs, including those in wheelchairs,            Christine Johnson (Landmark Student
said Karen Lacroix of Halton Student             and the need to be thoroughly trained in          Transportation/Sinton Transportation),
Transportation Services. So these dedi-          the event that an incident occurs.”               Karen Lacroix (Halton Student
cated volunteers started from scratch:              It is anticipated that the Special             Transportation Services), Faye
they developed a plan, working directly          Needs Passenger Evacuation training               Wilkinson (Stock Transportation).
with students with special needs who
were enrolled in both elementary and
secondary schools, and their parents,
used Canadian vehicles from regular
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done to evacuate students with special
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                                                                                       Cummins Eastern Canada
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                                           491084_Cummins.indd 1
                                                                                                          SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 13
                                                                                                                                  9/21/10   8:57:32 PM
Crossing the Tracks
By Dave Carroll

       he tragic collision between a transit bus and a VIA           drivers behind that the bus is slowing to a stop. (While the law
       rail passenger train in Ottawa in September 2013 is           does not require the “four-ways” to be used, it is an industry
       a poignant reminder to all drivers of the deadly con-         best practice observed by most bus companies.)
sequences of railway grade crossing accidents. “Train time               Stopping at a railway crossing other than in the right
is anytime” and weighing thousands of tons, trains can take          hand lane on a multi-lane roadway should be avoided as
up to two kilometres to stop. Every day in Ontario, school           it can compromise the driver’s vision down the tracks and
buses safely cross railway tracks many thousands of times,           the ability to hear when the service door is opened. Also,
demanding the complete attention by drivers and unwavering           stopping other than in the right-hand lane can increase the
compliance with provincial railway crossing legislation enacted      chance of being rear-ended by a motorist behind the bus who
to ensure student safety.                                            might not be paying attention. Next, drivers should turn off
                                                                     noise producing devices in the bus, including circulation
Legislated Crossing Procedure                                        fans, heater/defroster fans, radios or radio speakers, etc.,
    Since 1997, school buses are the only vehicles in Ontario        to enhance the driver’s ability to hear an approaching train
that must stop at all grade (level) railway crossings, whether       or the signal bells. School buses manufactured for sale in
or not the crossing is protected with warning signal lights or       Ontario on or after January 1, 2005 are required by law to
gates. Prior to that, school buses were only required to stop at     have a noise suppression switch located within easy reach of
unprotected crossings, those without warning signal or gates.        the driver that will simultaneously disable the above noise
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act, Section 174 (2) requires the        producing accessories.
driver of a school bus upon approaching a railway crossing,              Once the bus is stopped no closer than five metres from
whether or not it is protected by gates or railway crossing signal   the nearest rail, the driver must open the ser-
lights, unless otherwise directed by a flagman, to:                  vice entrance door fully, and listen for an
1.	Stop the school bus not less than 5 metres (16 feet) from        approaching train. While not required by
    the nearest rail of the railway;                                 law, many bus operator companies have a
2.	Look in both directions along the railway track;                 policy that drivers are to set the park brake
3.	Open a door of the school bus and listen to determine if         before opening the service door as an extra pre-
    any train is approaching;                                        caution. It is also good practice to open the driver’s
4.	When it is safe to do so, cross the railway track in a gear      side window to enhance the driver’s ability to hear
    that will not need to be changed while crossing the track;       a train or warning bells.
    and                                                                  When it’s safe to do so, the bus can pro-
5.	Not change gears while crossing tracks (manual transmis-         ceed across the tracks, provided suffi-
    sion buses).                                                     cient space in traffic exists on the other
    Rail crossing legislation and safety procedures are a part       side for the bus to fully clear the cross-
of the classroom and on-road school bus driver training cur-         ing area. School bus drivers are routinely
riculum. During on-road training, drivers practice the manoeu-       reminded “If it won’t fit – don’t commit!”
ver over and over and must demonstrate their knowledge                   While school buses have to stop at
and correct operational procedures during the Ministry of            all grade crossings, public vehicles
Transportation of Ontario (MTO) road test to obtain a school         that are not school buses need
bus (Class B or E) drivers licence.                                  only stop at unprotected cross-
    When approaching a level crossing, the driver of a bus with-     ings which have no warning
out a sequential mode warning light system must check to see         lights or gates. These vehicles
that the “master” switch that controls the red overhead warning      must observe the same stop-
lights and stop arm is turned off, so as to prevent their opera-     ping procedures as above, but
tion when the door is opened. Next, the driver should get into       there is no requirement for
the right-hand lane of traffic and when slowing down, activate       a noise suppression switch
the “four-ways” (not the red overhead warning lights) to warn        in the vehicle.

        14 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
A split-second lapse in judgement or driver inat-
tention at a level crossing can prove disastrous. For
this reason, school bus companies routinely reinforce
                                                             A Lesson on the
and remind their drivers of railway crossing legisla-
tion and company standard operating procedures.
                                                             Importance of Opening
Occasional spot checks by the operator’s staff at            the Service Entrance
                                                             Door and Side Window
grade crossings can help ensure 100% compliance
with company policies and the law. In addition to
operator monitoring, police agencies, including CN
                                                             By Dave Carroll
Rail and CP Rail police, enforce the school bus
stopping laws and issue tickets for rail crossing viola-         The importance of opening the service entrance door and the
tions. The most common infractions are not coming            driver’s side window was recently emphasized in a Transportation
to a full stop five metres from the nearest rail and         Safety Board (TSB) investigation report on a school bus-train col-
not fully opening the service door before proceeding         lision that occurred in March of 2013 in Carlyle, SK.
across the tracks.                                               The driver of the 72-passenger school bus carrying seven elemen-
                                                             tary school children proceeded from a stopped position at a level
Operation Lifesaver                                          crossing (which had no warning lights or gates) into the path of a
    School bus operators can access school bus driver        CN freight train travelling at 40 km/hr. The Board determined the
training resources offered by Operation Lifesaver,           school bus driver was unaware of the approaching train. The bus was
a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to            severely damaged and one child received minor injuries.
prevent collisions between trains and motor vehicles.            The investigation determined that the school bus stopped at the
Operation Lifesaver was formed over 30 years ago             stop sign before attempting to cross the tracks; however, the driver
when the railway companies joined forces with the            did not open the door as level crossings in Saskatchewan, which
federal, provincial and municipal governments in             have a stop sign posted, are deemed a “controlled crossing” where
Canada to build lasting and aggressive programs to           opening the door is not required by law. (Saskatchewan has since
improve railway-related safety. One of their train-          changed its law in response to the TSB’s report.) The driver did not
ing programs is aimed specifically at school bus             see or hear the train as it sounded its horn. The investigation deter-
drivers called, “Make it a Round Trip.” It provides          mined that the driver was likely distracted by tasks associated with
an Instructor’s Guide, Student Note Book and a               the road traffic and pedestrian activity in the vicinity. In addition,
Safety Quiz as downloadable files on Operation               the school bus frame (A-pillar) and side mirror adjacent to the door
Lifesaver’s website at            obstructed the driver’s view and concealed the train.
resources/professional-drivers.                                  As part of its investigation, TSB conducted an on-site re-enactment
    Railway crossing safety is a consideration when          of the collision using a similar CN train and an identical school bus
school bus routes are established in collaboration           that produced some interesting findings. Train horn sound levels
    between the transportation consortia or school           were recorded using a similar locomotive equipped with an identical
    board and the school bus operator. Factors such          horn. While the measured sound values for the horn met Transport
   as driver sightlines and obstacles, train traffic         Canada regulatory requirements, they found that train horns do not
volumes, curved vs. straight track, protected vs.            consistently provide adequate warning to school buses that have
unprotected crossings, potential driver distractions,        doors and windows closed when stopped at railway crossings.
proximity to intersections, etc., are all factors that are       It was further determined that the average ambient noise in the
taken into account when assessing risks and making           school bus with the engine on high idle and door closed was in excess
route decisions. For example, in urban areas with            of 70 decibels. Had the door been opened (as is required in Ontario)
   numerous level crossings, some protected and              it could have increased the perceived loudness of the train horn by
      some unprotected, routes should be designed            between 20 and 30 decibels. They also found that while seated in
      wherever possible to utilize the protected             the driver’s seat, with the bus at low idle and with windows and front
     crossings.                                              door closed, the train horn cannot be heard above the ambient noise
    Level railway crossings are a fact of life and           level in the bus until the train is approximately two seconds from
            usually cannot be avoided. While they            the crossing. With a moving bus, the horn cannot be heard until the
             add an element of risk to a school route,       train is one second away or less. For these reasons, the TSB report
              they can be safely managed with good           recommends that the driver’s side window also be opened to improve
                driver training, ongoing compliance          a school bus driver’s ability to hear an approaching train.
                 monitoring by the bus operator, and             As a result of their findings, on June 30, 2013, the TSB issued a
                 constant reminders to drivers that          Rail Safety Advisory Letter to Transport Canada titled School Bus
                 “train time is anytime” and that level      Safety at Railway Crossings. The letter indicated that train horns
                crossings demand a school bus driv-          do not consistently provide adequate warning to school buses that
              er’s undivided attention and focus – at        have doors and windows closed when stopped at level crossings.
          every crossing – every time.

                                                                                                  SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 15
ACET Trains for First Aid…
and Confidence
          etting students to school on
          time is your job, but getting
          students to school safely is
your responsibility as an owner and
an operator. First aid knowledge and the
confidence to respond in an emergency
are critical skills – ones that OSBA
member Active Canadian Emergency
Training Inc. (ACET) has made its busi-
ness to deliver.
    Established in 1992 by advanced care
paramedics, ACET’s philosophy is that
the first aider’s role is critical in the
response to emergencies. Yet, ACET
founders witnessed bystanders who had
first aid training but were not confident
to use the skills they had learned. This     throughout his 33-year career in polic-      her EpiPen Jr. She cried and pulled
observation led ACET to develop The          ing and knows that emergencies are           away but I had her leg secured and we
Approach™ to managing emergencies.           unpredictable, and rarely happen in an       counted together to ensure the full dose
The Approach, currently delivered to         “ideal” setting.                             was received. Without your advice on
more than 1,000 companies and over               “It isn’t just the content that makes    securing the leg, I would have with-
16,000 participants every year, is criti-    ACET courses memorable for partici-          out a doubt wasted the Pen and had to
cal to providing school boards, police       pants. We invest a lot in our instructors.   administer another one. Also due to
services, government and private sector      It’s their passion for teaching and years    your teaching, I was able to mentally
clients with a regulated, first-aid train-   of experience in the field that resonate     rehearse exactly what I would do should
ing course focused on the first aider        with the class,” says Bardgett. “We have     something occur.”
knowing what to do and being confident       a great team of people teaching our pro-         To complement a full host of regu-
to respond.                                  gram and making training fun.”               lated and non-regulated first aid courses,
    “The Approach is designed to leave           Course participants often reach out      ACET also manages and implements
participants with the confidence to          to the ACET office to share stories of       AED Programs as a national reseller of
respond in the critical first seven min-     how their training kicked-in and helped      LIFEPAK AEDs. Every year in Canada,
utes of an emergency happening, prior        them save a life. For instance, days         35,000 to 40,000 people die of sudden
to paramedics’ arrival,” says Andrew         after taking a course with ACET, Peel        cardiac arrest (SCA) and when SCA
Outinen, General Manager, ACET. “And         Region Police Officer Ashley Kirmin          occurs outside of a hospital setting,
while we hope no one ever has to pro-        was faced with a family medical emer-        less than five percent of patients sur-
vide CPR or use an automated external        gency and he credits the program with        vive. Early intervention of defibrilla-
defibrillator (AED), we want every per-      giving him the confidence to respond         tion coupled with trained responders can
son who takes our training to be able to     when his daughter suffered anaphylac-        dramatically increase the survival rates
provide lifesaving care.”                    tic shock. Kirmin wrote to say thanks        of someone experiencing SCA.
    Slides and video are used as teach-      to his instructor Deb Hartman who                “Our goal is to get as many AEDs in
ing tools in ACET’s Emergency and            taught him how to correctly administer       public areas, workplaces and homes as
Standard First Aid courses, but par-         an EpiPen®, which saved his daughter’s       we can,” says Outinen. “The more AEDs
ticipants also go into their workplaces,     life, saying, “It was immediately clear      that are readily available, the more lives
practicing scenarios in stairwells, bath-    she was in respiratory distress, but dis-    will be saved.”
rooms or in the parking lot. ACET            played no outward signs of swelling              One particular story that stands out
Instructor Supervisor, Mike Bardgett         or hives…remembering Deb’s advice,           for Outinen is a workplace that used
responded to many emergencies                I secured her leg and administered           their LIFEPAK CR Plus to save an

        16 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
employee’s life. The client had been
      working with ACET for years, was
      an early adopter of AEDs, having a
      LIFEPAK CR Plus onsite for 10 years,
      and held annual AED training. One
      afternoon, an employee found a co-                                                                    
      worker unconscious and unresponsive,
      and jumped into action and made the call
      to 911. While waiting for paramedics to
      arrive, the first aider used the AED,
      which delivered multiple shocks. After
      being hospitalized for several weeks
      the employee made a full recovery. “If
      that organization had not invested in an
      AED, that story might have had a dif-
      ferent outcome,” Outinen notes.
         Success stories and positive feedback
      from clients is what drives ACET and
      fosters the level of excellence its clients
      and students have come to expect in the
      classroom and operationally.
         As it has done for the past 22 years,
      ACET will continue to support Canadians
      with excellent training in an effort to
      make homes and workplaces safer. “What
      we are doing by teaching useable first aid
      and implementing AEDs will empower
      people to save lives…this is what drives
      me and makes me excited to go into work
      every day,” says Outinen.

      Since 2000, ACET has been a wholly
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707779_Garage.indd 1                                                                                                                    9/6/14 1:39 AM
                                                                                                                                                  702144_Ontario.indd 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014 17
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         12/07/14           11:22 PM
Conquering Distractions:
Mind on the Driving, Eyes
on the Road and Hands
on the Wheel
New laws to reduce distracted
driving are lauded by school
transportation professionals,
but the industry is already
leading the way.
By Eric Woolson

       chool transportation professionals agree that new regu-
       lations to stiffen penalties for cell phone usage while    More Than Cell Phones and Coffee Cups
       driving in Ontario should make roadways safer but             Like any other driver, school bus drivers are susceptible to
the benefits will come from outside school buses rather than      three distractions – taking their eyes off the road, their hands
from within.                                                      off the steering wheel or letting their minds wander away
    “School transportation has always been ahead of the game      from the road. One of the biggest distractions is the overhead
in terms of safety regulations, practices and policies. They’ve   mirror they must glance at as they check on their passengers.
always been the trend setter, if you will, and distracted driv-      Begg, who is also a certified professional driving instructor
ing and cell phone use are no exception,” explained Kathy         and Director with the Ontario School Bus Association, said
Furneaux, Executive Director of the Pupil Transportation          school bus drivers “face all the distractions you face in your
Safety Institute in East Syracuse, NY. “The public is just        car, except they may have 72 kids behind them.”
catching up to the industry.”                                        Pedestrians, traffic, cyclists, road hazards, numerous stops
    Mark Begg, General Manager of Delaney Bus Lines in            and starts and, surprisingly, parents at bus stops are among
Avonmore, and Beth Buttenham, Senior Safety and Training          the plethora of distractions.
Specialist of Stock Transportation, headquartered in Barrie,         “Parents may think the bus stop is a great time to talk to
praise government officials for choosing to impose stricter       the driver but in urban communities, especially, you may
penalties on motorists caught texting while driving.              have 10, 15 or 25 kids getting on or off at the same corner, the
    “Significant awareness has been brought to the issue, espe-   driver needs to focus attention on where every one of these
cially with the hands-free ban,” said Begg, whose company has     kids is going. A conversation with a parent takes the driver’s
a school transportation division that transports approximately    mind and eye off the kids. Often times, we ask the driver to
2,200 students for two transportation consortia represent-        put up a hand or finger to stop the conversation. It might be
ing four different school boards in Eastern Ontario. “I think     abrupt but it’s not to be rude because their first and foremost
Ontario is on the right track.”                                   responsibility is the kids’ safety,” said Begg.
    However, their companies have long prohibited drivers            While bus drivers may not be distracted themselves, they
from using cell phones on the job. And, it doesn’t end with       also must be prepared to react to other drivers who are.
cell phones. Neither company allows drivers to use hands-free        “Not only do school bus drivers have to avoid becoming
devices, ear phones, navigational systems, eat or carry that      distracted, but they have to remain focused on defensive driving
favorite cup of coffee, either.                                   so they don’t get caught up in some other motorist’s distrac-
    They both agree, professional drivers wouldn’t want it any    tion,” Furneaux said.
other way. “Bus drivers are aware they need to have 110%
focus on the road all the time,” Begg said.                       Student Management is “Big”
    Furneaux added, “Being a trained driver and understanding        Maintaining order on the bus is a crucial factor in reduc-
the consequences of not following those rules and policies is     ing driving distractions, Buttenham said. Drivers do that by
what makes the school bus driver a safer driver.”                 developing a confidence in rules and policies, their authority

        18 SCHOOL BUS ONTARIO 2014
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