The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy and education services for the owners of school bus fleets across Ontario.  October 21, 2014 - Issue 18

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OSBA Enhanced Supplier Partner Member:
Inside this Edition:
  1. OSBA Among Key Stakeholders Invited to Participate in Media Event 
  2. Voyageur Transportation Goes All Out with School Bus Safety Week Initiatives 
  3. Children Rewarded For Safe Riding
  4. Message from Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer 
  5. OSBA Webinar Date Change
  6. Reminders for Safety Best Practices 
  7. Upcoming Events
OSBA Among Key Stakeholders Invited to Participate in Media Event Announcing the "Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act"
OSBA (represented by Les Cross and Dave Carroll) along with other road safety stakeholders participated in a media event on October 21, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced he will be introducing the "Making Ontario Roads Safer Act" in the legislature. This Act, to amend the Highway Traffic Act, has many of the same HTA amendments that comprised the previous "Keeping Ontario Roads Safe Act" which was introduced by the previous Minister in March 2014, but died when the writ was dropped.

OSBA was invited to attend and provide a school bus backdrop in view of the school bus industry’s contribution to road safety and acknowledgement of OSBA as a key stakeholder and safety partner. The amendments in the Act include strengthening the language around the prohibition against buses other than school buses that are, in whole or in part, school bus (chrome) yellow in colour. While the decades old law indicates that only a school bus can be painted chrome yellow, the current wording in the HTA is inadequate and unenforceable. The amended law will make it illegal for anyone to operate a bus, other than a school bus, that is painted (in whole or in part) chrome yellow. 

Other amendments to the HTA included in the "Making Ontario Roads Safer Act" include: 
  • Increasing fines for distracted driving from its current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000; assigning three demerit points upon conviction; and adding distracted driving to the existing list of novice driver conditions.
  • Applying current alcohol impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug impaired.
  • Introducing additional measures to address repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving.
  • Requiring drivers to wait until a pedestrian has completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.
  • Increasing fines and demerits for drivers who “door” cyclists, and requiring all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing cyclists, where practicable.
  • Helping municipalities collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay Provincial Offences Act fines. 
Voyageur Transportation Goes All Out with School Bus Safety Week Initiatives
School Bus Safety Week 2014 is in full swing and Voyageur Transportation has planned a week of related activities.  A variety of communication will take place with information being placed in monthly newsletters, broadcast over the radio, posters in various locations, corporate emails to all employees, invitations to consortia staff and contact with local TV stations.

In addition, multiple safety tips will be posted on Voyageur’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages on a daily basis for drivers, monitors, students and other motorists.  A colouring flyer has also been developed for drivers to distribute to their students.  And there will be refreshments, treats, chili and a coffee truck available to celebrate and thank drivers.

Safety blitzes will be done throughout the week, which include increased presence of supervisors, trainers, and the health & safety and human resources team at various parking locations.  As well, drivers will be monitored to ensure correct pre-trip inspections and ghosting of drivers will be done to ensure safe and defensive driving techniques.  Tim Hortons gift cards will be distributed to drivers who have been assessed, as well as placed on buses for drivers to discover while completing daily pre-trip inspections.

Two “Bus Rodeo” events are planned this year in the London and Fergus locations.  Shuttle buses will be provided to bring out-of-town drivers to the festivities.  These events allow drivers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in simulated driving conditions using pylons as well as in collision and incident reporting quizzes.  An excellent opportunity for staff and drivers to connect and network with colleagues in the company.  For more information, contact Chloe Ferguson at
Children Rewarded For Safe Riding
It's school bus safety week and Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) is celebrating the importance of school bus safety.

STEO is responsible for the transportation of students to and from schools in the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and the Upper Canada District School Board. To help celebrate the week, bus drivers will be handing out Safe Rider awards to those student riders who do something to be recognized as a safe rider.

All schools served by STEO have been invited to have students submit entries in the "Be Smart Be Seen" poster contest. The winners of the contest will receive a gift certificate from Chapters.

"Ensuring the safety of students as they enter and exit the bus is crucial," said STEO general manager and chief administrative officer Ron Cotnam. "We are training our bus drivers to be cautious, but we need help from parents and motorists to make sure they stop for school buses, as they load and unload children. No issue is so urgent that motorists cannot wait for a school bus."

Children riding the school bus are also responsible for safety measures including remaining in direct view of the driver, crossing in front of the bus only when the driver signals it is safe to do so and always following the driver's directions for how to cross the street.

Children are also advised to take 10 giant steps back from the curb when waiting for the bus and 10 steps away when exiting the bus. General tips for students riding the bus include being alert to traffic, do not try to retrieve anything from the bus once you get off the bus, never reach beneath the bus and get to the bus stop in plenty of time.
Advisory for Small Businesses - Message from Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer
This week is Small Business Week, which recognizes the important contribution of small business to the Canadian economy. In Ontario, small business employs nearly one-third of all workers and represents about 95% of all employers.  

Small business owners have a tough job. In addition to running your business and worrying about the bottom line, you must also understand your obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). 

Workplace injuries and fatalities are devastating for individuals, families, co-workers in the workplace and for businesses as well. Business impacts can include:
  • Increased workers' compensation payments
  • Legal fees
  • Training replacements
  • Lost productivity
  • Repairs to damaged equipment or property 
For some, it can have long-term consequences and even mean the difference between success and going out of business.

The Ministry of Labour recognizes the unique challenges of small business. To support small business owners, operators and employees, a link to all ministry resources for small business is provided below. You can access these free resources to understand your obligations under the OHSA, including a guide to the OHSA, posters, training information and much more:

In addition, there is a great deal of health and safety information and supportive tools available for free at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS). They can provide you with help both online and by phone. WSPS can be reached at: or call 1-877-494-WSPS (9777).
OSBA Webinar Date Change
The December 10th webinar date has now been changed to December 17th this year. As you may know, the Ontario School Bus Association provides these webinars to assist in educating and informing members on timely and pertinent industry issues and initiatives. These webinars are conducted by OSBA Safety and Legislation expert Dave Carroll and offer learning opportunities to not only owners, but to all levels of staff from the comfort and convenience of their offices or any other location with a computer internet connection and/or telephone.  2015 dates will be announced soon.
Reminders for Safety Best Practices
Guest Editorial from Fabrizio Guzzo, Voyageur Transportation
It’s safe to say that we now find ourselves in the midst of Fall -- a wonderful, colourful time of year that sees the school bus industry in full swing.  OSBA members are in constant search of the safest best practices for student transportation so we thought it may be helpful to pass along items that receive special ‘safety visibility’ with the Voyageur Transportation team over the next few weeks.
Halloween is fast approaching, and while this a fun time for children and parents, it’s worth highlighting a few key reminders:
  • Younger children tend to trick-or-treat earlier in the evening.  An important factor especially following afternoon runs and/or on the commute home from work.  Younger children tend to be a little less aware of their surroundings and have the habit of making sudden movements; sometimes in areas of high volume traffic.  Between 1990-2013 over 115 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles on October 31.  A sobering statistic.
  • Drive safely!  Be constantly aware of speed limits and the environment.  This includes entering and exiting driveways and/or laneways, approaching intersections and/or crosswalks as well as driving in poorly lit areas.
  • Reduce distractions and stay alert!  Ensure that the radio is at a level that does not block out environmental noises, handheld devices are not in use and attention is focused on the act of driving.
  • Remember that days are getting shorter (less daylight), which means there is less visibility.  Use extra caution.
Daylight saving time is Sunday, November 2nd.  Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour and enjoy that extra bit of well-deserved rest.  When you ‘Change the Clock’ also remember to ‘Change the Battery’ on smoke alarms and CO2 detectors.  It’s a handy safety habit to develop.  Best wishes for a fantastic Autumn and a wonderful Halloween.  Stay safe!
“For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.” ~ Eleanor Everet
(via P.R.I.D.E. Program Master Trainer Maria Holmes)
Upcoming Events
National School Safety Week
Canada Safety Council (CSC)

Oct. 17-23
P.R.I.D.E. Program

Oct. 19-24
School Bus Safety Week
Oct. 20-24
School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Oct. 22
OSBA Webinar 
Dec. 17

Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE)
Apr. 12-15, 2015
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All rights reserved.  This publication is intended for the exclusive use of OSBA Members.  Reproduction without prior permission is prohibited.

Contact OSBA:
3401 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga, ON, L5C 1V8
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