The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy, education and legislative consultation services to the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
July 7, 2015 - Issue 14

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Contract Changes to Strike and Lock-out Language During Potential Teacher Strikes
  2. The Use of Colour, Markings, Logos, Slogans, Emblems and Lettering on School Buses
  3. Change to MTO Policy on Vision Results
  4. Great New Info on OSBA Website!
  5. Pan Am/Parapan Am Temporary Signage To Direct Spectators to Venues
  6. Innisfil Highway 400 Service Centre Now Open
  7. Wyoming Districts Equipping School Buses With Cameras
  8. MTO is Expanding Highway 401 in Cambridge
  9. Upcoming Events
Contract Changes to Strike and Lock-out Language During Potential Teacher Strikes

It is OSBA’s understanding that a number of transportation consortia are working diligently with their service provider partners to reach agreeable contract terms and conditions in the event of teacher strikes in September 2015.  The Durham District School Board (DDSB) worked together with its transportation providers and agreed to a mutually satisfactory solution that ensures speedy return-to-work measures for all parties.  The Peel District School Board has also agreed to change the language in their contracts to allow their service providers to fully compensate bus drivers during a teachers strike.  Please contact OSBA President Les Cross for more information or 705.229.6835.
The Use of Colour, Markings, Logos, Slogans, Emblems and Lettering on School Buses

Over the past year or so, several OSBA bus operator members have been told by Ministry of Transportation (MTO) officers that the lettering and/or markings (including company slogans and logos) on their school buses contravene the CSA D250 Standard, and hence are in violation of Regulation 612 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).  In some cases officers have advised the bus operator to have the lettering or markings changed to bring the buses into compliance.

The pertinent sections of CSA D250 are subsections 4.4 and 6.4.2.  These sections say that the “uncluttered yellow colour scheme” of a school bus cannot be compromised, and that lettering on the bus body shall be black.

The intent of these sections is to preserve the clean and unadulterated appearance of Ontario`s school bus fleet to ensure it remains uniform and consistent in appearance.  The rationale being that Ontario’s school bus fleet is safer if school buses look more or less the same and without any markings, graphics and extra colour that could create a distraction or confuse students and other road users.  OSBA fundamentally agrees with and supports this rationale, but we feel some latitude should be allowed for buses to be marked with the bus operator`s name and perhaps a slogan or logo and other than just in black.

For decades, thousands of school buses in Ontario have operated with markings that are not black and without issue, and it is only recently that MTO officers began voicing concerns.  We attribute this to a couple of things:

  1. MTO Officer training on the D250 Standard has increased in the past few years in order to enforce the requirement since Regulation 612 was amended to require operators of buses manufactured after June 1, 2000 to continue to maintain the bus to the Standard to which the bus was originally manufactured.
  2. An increase in the past few years of private schools and colleges applying colours, graphics and school emblems which cover substantial areas of the bus.
On June 30, 2015 representatives of OSBA and the Independent School Bus Operators Association (ISBOA) met with MTO officials of the Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch – Safety Policy Office to discuss this issue.  OSBA and ISBOA collaborated to put forward a joint recommendation on how MTO and the industry can ensure the intent of the Standard is met and for MTO to achieve its compliance objectives while allowing operators some latitude when it comes to markings and lettering.
The meeting was very successful.  MTO listened to our concerns and agreed to take away our recommendation for further consideration. MTO will develop enforcement guidelines for their officers that will be shared with us for comment prior to implementation.
Change to MTO Policy on Vision Results

We have confirmed with MTO that they have recently updated their policy regarding the vision section of the medical report.  They now allow DriveTest centres to accept the vision results from the medical report to satisfy the driver licensing vision requirement.   For example, when drivers are upgrading their licence, if a medical report is presented with a completed vision section, a separate vision test completed by DriveTest is no longer required. If the medical report does not include the vision results, the vision test will be conducted at the DriveTest centre.
Vision reports completed by physicians have always been accepted by the ministry, in addition to those completed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist in accordance with ministry policy.  

Commercial drivers are still required to complete a vision test at the DriveTest Centre prior to the renewal of their licence, unless a medical report is submitted at the same time as the renewal, which is very uncommon.
Great New Info on OSBA Website!

If you haven’t visited the OSBA website lately at, you might want to check it out!  An expanded list of events from across North America can be seen on the “Events” page and an updated “Resources” information tab includes information about previous OSBA newsletters, webinar topics, important OSBA bulletins and much more!  Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  If you need your website login information, please let us know – or 416.695.9965 Ext. 6.
Pan Am/Parapan Am Temporary Signage To Direct Spectators to Venues

Over 5,000 orange and blue temporary signs are being erected across 16 municipalities that will help direct drivers to Games' events.  The signs will show the way to events using the TORONTO 2015 Games' sport pictograms, arrows and the official three-letter venue codes. The three-letter code corresponds with information on Games' tickets, in the spectator guide and in the trip planner app.

Drivers will also notice new signs on provincial highways that show the locations of temporary High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. In addition to carpoolers and families, provincial HOV lanes can also be used by:
  • Public transit vehicles (including any bus, loaded or empty)
  • Accredited games vehicles
  • Electric vehicles with green licence plates
  • Licensed taxis and airport limousines
  • Emergency vehicles
Innisfil Highway 400 Service Centre Now Open

June 25th marked the opening of the redeveloped service centre on Highway 400 southbound in Innisfil - the final redeveloped On-route service centre on the 400 highway series. The Innisfill service centre is the 20th On-route service centre to be redeveloped since 2009. It provides travellers with eco-friendly, family-friendly and pet-friendly facilities that include fuel and food services, a convenience store, improved commercial vehicle facilities, tourism information and washrooms.
Wyoming Districts Equipping School Buses With Cameras

Article From: The Washington Times
Written By: Bob Moen

Nearly 60 percent of the school buses in Wyoming now have cameras to help catch motorists who illegally pass a stopped bus, and there are indications that the cameras might be dissuading the practice.

Of the 1,536 public school buses in Wyoming, 902 have been equipped with cameras, said David Koskelowski, education consultant for pupil transportation with the Wyoming Department of Education. “I believe at last check 23 of the 48 districts had at least a majority of their buses done,” Koskelowski said.

In 2014, the state Legislature approved $5 million to help school districts equip their buses with outside cameras to identify vehicles illegally passing a bus that is picking up or discharging students. Districts also can install cameras inside the bus to monitor student behaviour.

Districts have tapped more than $2 million of the funds as of this month, Koskelowski said.

The effort to equip school buses with cameras was prompted by the 2011 death of an 11-year-old girl, who was struck and killed in Fremont County as she crossed a highway after getting off a school bus that had its flashing lights activated.  The driver of the vehicle was convicted of several charges, including homicide by vehicle.

“In general, school districts around the country are finding an increased number of cameras, both on the buses and in the building, a very useful tool,” said Bruce Hayes, school safety consultant with the state Education Department.

For instance, cameras can record what happened in an incident and can discourage behavior that might cause an incident, Hayes said.

It’s too soon to say whether the bus cameras are making it safer for students getting on and off school buses, Koskelowski said.

He noted that there are public-service efforts to raise awareness about illegally passing stopped school buses, an action that is often referred to as a “fly-by.”

“I’d love to say that investment also contributed to the lower number of fly-bys,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve had it in place long enough for it to be a deterrent.”

There are some encouraging signs, however.

An annual one-day count of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses in Wyoming found 99 violators when the count was done on Feb. 11, he said.  That is the lowest total ever recorded since the practice was started in 1999-2000 school year, Koskelowski said.

In 2011-12, the one-day count recorded 297 fly-bys, he said.

“But it’s just nice to think that we put cameras on the buses and that year that we did our data collection we had our lowest number of fly-bys,” Koskelowski said.
MTO is Expanding Highway 401 in Cambridge

MTO has announced it is widening a 4.2-kilometre stretch of Highway 401 between Highway 8 and Hespeler Road from six to 10 lanes to help improve traffic flow in the Region of Waterloo.  The project, which will create or sustain more than 1,200 construction jobs, includes:
  • Repairing, repaving and expanding a 4.2-kilometre section of Highway 401 from six to 10 lanes
  • Building one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction
  • Widening and repairing the Grand River Electric Railway Overpass
  • Widening and repairing the CN rail overpass
  • Replacing four bridges over the Speed River
  • Repairing the Highway 8 bridge over Sportsworld Drive and the Highway 401 and Hespeler Road interchange bridge
  • Installing noise walls and retaining walls
  • Building wider outside shoulders for buses to bypass traffic
  • Realigning interchange ramps at Highway 8 and Hespeler Road
  • Implementing median-mounted High Mast Lighting
Construction is targeted for completion by summer 2019.
Upcoming Events

P.R.I.D.E. Program
July 12-17, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Jul.10-26)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Aug. 9-14, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Aug. 7-15)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Oct. 18-23, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Oct. 21, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Dec. 2, 2015
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