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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.  
September 30, 2015 - Issue 20

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Modernizing Ontario's Inter-City Bus Regulatory Regime
  2. School Bus Drivers Shouldn't Wear Ear Buds or Head Phones
  3. 2015 OSBA Driver Excellence Recognition Award
  4. Ontario Minimum Wage Increases October 1, 2015
  5. Upcoming Events
Modernizing Ontario's Inter-City Bus Regulatory Regime

The Ontario Minister of Transportation has been directed by the Premier to review Ontario’s inter-city bus regulatory regime and develop recommendations on “modernizing and appropriately regulating the intercity bus regime to ensure it remains an attractive and affordable travel option for Ontarians”.  Minister Del Duca has charged his parliamentary assistant, Kathryn McGarry, to conduct consultations to hear views and experiences travelling by intercity bus. The review will gather information about intercity bus use in Ontario, examine business models used in other jurisdictions and determine whether these models are applicable in Ontario.
 
The focus of the review is on the needs of and convenience for the travelling public and an examination of scheduled intercity bus services that operate between separate communities. The Ministry is considering different ways of modernizing the Public Vehicles Act and Regulation 982 in order to both increase the number of intercity bus users and to improve the overall intercity bus traveling experience.
 
What does this review mean for school bus operators?  OSBA is not exactly sure at the moment. While the focus of the review is on scheduled intercity services, and not home to school or charter services, any changes to the Public Vehicles Act licensing framework or Regulation 982 under the PV Act has the potential to impact school bus operators.  For that reason, OSBA has indicated to the provincial government that we would like to participate in the review and be consulted on any proposals to modify the existing regulatory system. 
Please help us identify issues or concerns about the current Public Vehicles Act regulatory system from a school bus operator’s perspective by answering a few questions in a survey at the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D9W6RLZ
 
Survey Questions:
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.
2015 OSBA Driver Excellence Recognition Award

As mentioned in previous communications, the OSBA Driver Excellence Recognition award is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the exceptional efforts put forth by school bus drivers each and every day.

Thanks to all members who submitted nomination forms. These forms will be reviewed and one candidate selected by a committee of the OSBA Board of Directors.  The awards will be presented on Oct. 29, 2015 at the Blue Mountain Resort, Collingwood during the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) annual pupil transportation conference.

If you have any questions/comments, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@osba.on.ca or 416.695.9965 Ext. 3
Ontario Minimum Wage Increases October 1, 2015

As reported previously in OSBA News, Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective October 1, 2015.  The increase is a result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act.  The minimum wage for certain jobs and/or employees such as liquor servers, homeworkers, and students are also increasing at the same time. Minimum wage increases are announced by April 1 each year, and are effective on October 1 of the same year. To see the new minimum wage rates go to: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/minwage.php
Upcoming Events

 
Copyright © 2015 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:
3401 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga, ON, L5C 1V8
Tel.416.695.9965 Fax 416.695.9977  
info@osba.on.ca | www.osba.on.ca
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Please address all enquiries and submissions to info@osba.on.ca  Opinions expressed do not necessarily express the opinions of the OSBA or its Board of Directors. Nor does acceptance of advertising constitute endorsement.