|School Bus Drivers Shouldn't Wear Ear Buds or Head Phones
It might be OK for Otto Mann (the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary School in The Simpsons) to wear head phones, but in real life it’s not advisable.
Since start up, OSBA has received a number of calls from members of the public concerned to see school bus drivers wearing ear buds or head phones. While it is not against the law in Ontario for any vehicle driver to wear these devices while driving, they are not recommended. These devices can affect a driver’s concentration and reduce a driver’s ability to hear other vehicles (including emergency vehicles) a child in distress, trains at level crossings, mechanical defects, etc.
The HTA driver licence regulation (Reg 340) requires bus drivers
have the highest standard for hearing of all licence classes: “must be able to perceive in the better ear, with or without a hearing aid, a forced whisper at a distance of 1.5 metres or, if an audiometer is used to test the person’s hearing, must not have a loss in the better ear of more than 40 decibels at 500, 1,000 and 2,000 hertz.” It therefore stands to reason that bus drivers should not diminish their
ability to hear what’s going on around them by inserting ear buds or covering their ears with head phones and listening to music or other media.
If not already in place, bus operators should consider establishing a company policy to prohibit the use of these devices while driving.