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.  
January 4, 2017 - Issue 1

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Happy New Year!
  2. Heads Up – More Changes to Class B and E Criminal Background Checks
  3. NHTSA Seeks Seat Belt Data Collection For School Buses
  4. 2017 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program Dates
  5. TSA Provides Online School-Bus, Anti-Terrorism Training
  6. OSBA Magazine Available On-Line
  7. Waterford School District Rolls Out New Buses Fueled By Clean-Operating, Cost-Reducing Propane Autogas
  8. Mark Your Calendar - 2017 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates
  9. 2017 OSBA Webinar Dates
  10. OSBA Office Move!
  11. Upcoming Events
Happy New Year!

On behalf of the OSBA Board of Directors and Contractors, we extend warm Happy New Year greetings and best wishes that the year ahead brings you good luck, good health and much happiness and success.  Work is such an integral part of our personal and professional lives, we extend sincere appreciation to all members and their staff for the incredible care and commitment demonstrated over the past year in delivering kids to school safely, on-time and ready to learn.  Each and every task, job, and role makes a significant impact on student transportation in Ontario.  May all your endeavors be met with huge triumph and appreciation.
Heads Up – More Changes to Class B and E Criminal Background Checks

In the Dec. 23, 2016 OSBA email regarding changes to the current process for a criminal background check required by MTO for Class B and E licences, we announced that the MTO has agreed to accept electronic (on-line) criminal background check results through authorized criminal background check providers.  This service is NOW AVAILABLE through the OSBA website by clicking here and is being delivered in partnership with Sterling Talent Solutions.
Although MTO has agreed to the electronic (on-line) background check service, there has not been sufficient time for the communication materials distributed on-site at DriveTest Centres to be updated to reflect this new on-line option for Class B and E applicants.  
PLEASE NOTE:  School bus driver licence applicants attending a DriveTest Centre after Jan. 1, 2017 may be given a handout excluding the relevant updates and stating, “Applicants can apply for a CRJM [criminal background check] at their local police service.”  This handout indicates that the original criminal background check must be mailed to the MTO as the only option.  A copy of this previous DriveTest handout is attached for reference, even though it does not communicate the option of authorized electronic criminal background check providers such as OSBA.

For companies who wish to take advantage of the new OSBA electronic (on-line) criminal background check service should ensure their applicants are aware of the electronic option available on the OSBA website and it’s approval by the MTO, despite contradictory information that may be distributed through DriveTest Centres.  OSBA continues to work with the MTO to ensure that new communication materials are updated and provided to the DriveTest Centres as soon as possible.
For more information on the OSBA electronic criminal background check service, please click here.
If you have any feedback or require more information on this matter, please contact OSBA Safety and Legislation Consultant Alex Bugeya at 416.695.9965 Ext. 4 or
NHTSA Seeks Seat Belt Data Collection For School Buses

Article Source: School Transportation News (US)
Article Date: December 20, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested a public comment on a recently published proposal that will focus on obtaining data collection regarding the implementation and cost of three-point seat belts on school buses.

The proposal identifies school districts that have implemented the lap-shoulder systems on school buses, whether voluntarily or in response to a state or local law or ordinance. It also seeks to have a stronger understanding of the decisions school districts make in order to install the occupant restraints and the funds necessary to pay for them.

In addition, the proposal includes a plan to conduct a web-based survey to gather additional information regarding bus driver distractions correlating to student behavior caused by the use of the seat belts.

The project includes a three-step approach at soliciting the information from school districts:
  • NHTSA plans on contacting at least 100 individuals across the country from various associations who will identify which school districts have adopted the use of seat belts or those who are already using them.
  • After identifying the specific school districts using seat belts, NHTSA will then reach out to those who have agreed to provide information. Interviews will then be conducted with State directors and local district professionals to discuss policies.
  • Finally, NHTSA will conduct a web-based survey intended for bus drivers in order to detect if bus driver distractions cause by student’s disruptive behavior due to the use of seat belts.
The findings of the study will serve as a base model in order to develop a potential policy and as a guide to assist jurisdictions that will consider the future use of seat belts on school buses. 

In 2008, NHTSA ruled that three-point lap shoulder belts were mandatory for Type A school buses, but the agency also stated that seat belts on larger buses would remain a state or local school district decision.

When Mark Rosekind, a past board member of the school bus seat belt proponent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), became NHTSA administrator in 2015, he said he would review seat belt regulations with a fresh set of eyes. While he said NHTSA "might change things," he never openly stated that the agency would reverse its stance that the decision to install lap-shoulder belts on large school buses should be left up to local school districts.

Then, on Nov. 8, 2015, he announced at the NAPT Summit in Richmond, Virginia, that three-point lap shoulder belts should be in all school buses yet stopped short of announcing an impending regulation to force the issue.

“NHTSA has not always spoken with a clear voice on the issue of seat belts on school buses. So let me clear up any ambiguity now," Rosekind told conference attendees. "The position of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that seat belts save lives. That is true whether in a passenger car or in a big yellow bus. And saving lives is what we are about.” 

The need for conclusive information on school bus three-point systems and their suggested use derived from the average number of crashes that occurred from 2004 to 2013. During this time span, an average of six school age children were killed each year as school bus occupants.

Alternatively, each year an average of eight school-age pedestrians were struck and killed by school transportation vehicles and four by other vehicles that were involved in school-bus-related crashes.
2017 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program Dates

With the first Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Recertification Program of 2017 just around the corner Feb. 2, you may wish to mark your calendar with the other 2017 dates:  
  • Thursday, February 2
  • Thursday, April 27
  • Wednesday, June 21
  • Saturday, August 12
  • Thursday, October 26
  • Wednesday, December 6
For more information - please visit or contact
TSA Provides Online School-Bus, Anti-Terrorism Training

Article Source: School Transportation News (US)
Article Date: December 30, 2016

The Transportation Security Administration Agency (TSA) website now offers new video training modules for detecting suspicious activity related to terrorism on its website.  

According to the TSA, the First Observer Plus (FOP) program provides “transportation professionals the knowledge needed to recognize suspicious activity possibly related to terrorism, guidance in assessing what they see and a method for reporting those observations.”

The current online training videos cater to stakeholders in the highway and motor carrier and mass transit industries. This includes student transportation.

The website provides a link to view any of the new FOP training videos that have been produced. The TSA said the program will continuously be revised and updated. 

Additional training modules for haz mat trucking, food and ag trucking, stadium/arena parking and law enforcement are currently under development, which are due out later this year.  

The TSA said the website also allows users to print out an individual, modally specific ‘Certificate of Completion’ after a brief registration page that requires no log-in or password requirements. The certificate recognizes their participation in the training program.

The TSA added that long-range plans involve a contractor-supported system that adds stakeholder trainers, private sector trainers, and some TSA engagement to accommodate stakeholder requests for FOP onsite training.  

More details regarding onsite training will be provided once additional details have been finalized.
OSBA Magazine Available On-Line

If you haven’t received a hard-copy of this year’s OSBA magazine “School Bus Ontario”, be sure to click here to view it on the OSBA website.  Some very interesting and thought-provoking articles available anytime on-line or through your Smartphone:
  • The Facts about Police and Criminal Background Checks
  • Employers:  Make Sure You Understand Your Rights and Obligations
  • Prevent Getting Trapped at Gated Railway Crossings!
  • Alcohol and Drug Policies in Safety-Sensitive Workplaces
  • Ontario’s New Rules for Pedestrian Crossovers and School Crossings
  • Developing Talent with Your Organization
  • And much more!
Questions or comments about the articles?  Please feel free to contact us – or 416.695.9965.
Waterford School District Rolls Out New Buses Fueled By Clean-Operating, Cost-Reducing Propane Autogas

Article Source: School Transportation News (Waterford, MI)
Article Date: December 16, 2016

Waterford School District introduced 10 new school buses fueled by propane autogas into its fleet this week, joining almost 30 other school districts in the State to operate Blue Bird Vision Propane buses. Propane is an economical alternative fuel that will allow the school district to save money in maintenance and fuel costs, and to reduce its carbon footprint.

Each bus is fitted with propane fuel systems manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech, a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia.

“Prior to joining WSD, I had a very positive experience with propane-fueled buses,” said WSD Superintendent Keith Wunderlich. “School buses operating on propane are environmentally friendly and reliable in cold weather conditions, plus offer cost saving benefits.”

Wunderlich also said that the school district selected propane-fueled buses because they provide the added safety of a quieter running engine and, although the initial purchase cost is higher, the “savings in overall cost of ownership versus a diesel bus is worth the initial cost.”

“Waterford School District joins hundreds of school districts across America making the decision to find fuel alternatives for their buses,” said Brian Carney, executive director of school bus and customer support for ROUSH CleanTech. “Propane is a proven choice that costs about 50 percent less than diesel per gallon and reduces maintenance costs due to its clean-operating properties.”

Equipped with Ford Motor Company’s 6.8L V10 engines, the Blue Bird Vision Propane buses emit 80 percent fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with diesel.

The fleet of propane autogas buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 10,000 pounds and particulate matter by about 315 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced. These ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems are Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certified.

Since 2010, ROUSH CleanTech has deployed almost 14,000 propane autogas vehicles to fleets across America. Of those, more than half are school buses.
Mark Your Calendar - 2017 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates

With the arrival of the New Year, you may wish to mark your calendar with the 2017 P.R.I.D.E. Program dates.  For 27 years, the P.R.I.D.E. Program has been providing fleet driver instructors with powerful non-lecture adult training techniques and philosophies. The 2017 programs are selling fast. Be sure to send in your registration form today to book your spot!

2017 Dates:
  • January 15-20 - SOLD OUT
  • January 22-27 - SOLD OUT
  • March 12-17 (March break) - SOLD OUT
  • May 7 - 12 - SOLD OUT
  • July 9-14
  • August 13-18
  • October 15-20
For more information - please visit or contact
2017 OSBA Webinar Dates

Mark your calendar for the 2017 OSBA webinars on the following dates:
  • January 25
  • March 2
  • May 17
  • October 25
The goal of these webinars is to provide attendees with essential operational and safety data not frequently published or easily resourced.  Significant, day-to-day performance information is provided that could contribute to changing the way you do business!  Stay tuned for details.

Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome for webinar topics.  Please send to OSBA's Safety and Legislation Consultant Alex Bugeya at
OSBA Office Move!

Please note that the OSBA office has officially moved to 3075 Lenworth Drive, Mississauga, ON, L4X 2G3 effective Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016.  Our email, website, telephone and fax information have remained the same at:,, tel. 416.695.9965, fax 416.695.9977.  OSBA would appreciate your records being updated and passing this along to any colleagues or vendors that may also wish to be in touch with us.
Upcoming Events
Jan. 15-20 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
Jan. 22-27 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
Jan. 25 OSBA Webinar
Feb. 2 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Mar. 2 OSBA Webinar
Mar. 12-17 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
Apr. 9-12 2017 Ontario Transportation Expo – Conference and Trade Show
Apr. 27 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
May 1-5 Alberta Student Transportation Advisory Council (ASTAC) Convention
May 7-12 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - SOLD OUT
May 17 OSBA Webinar
June 21 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
July 9-14 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Aug. 12 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Aug. 13-18 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Oct. 15-20 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program
Oct. 16-20 National School Bus Safety Week
Oct. 18 Professional School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Oct. 25 OSBA Webinar
Oct. 26 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
Dec. 6 P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program
May 13-16 Canadian Pupil Transportation Conference (CPTC)
Copyright © 2017 Ontario School Bus Association
All rights reserved.  This publication is intended for the exclusive use of OSBA Members.  Reproduction without prior permission is prohibited.

Contact OSBA:
3075 Lenworth Drive, Mississauga, ON, L4X 2G3
Tel.416.695.9965 Fax 416.695.9977 |
Please address all enquiries and submissions to  Opinions expressed do not necessarily express the opinions of the OSBA or its Board of Directors. Nor does acceptance of advertising constitute endorsement.

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School Bus Ontario (SBO) · 3075 Lenworth Drive · Mississauga, ON L4X 2G3 · Canada

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