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The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy and education services for the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
June 23, 2015 - Issue 13

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Temporary HOV Lanes Can Be Used By Any Bus
  2. MTO and Police Expected to Step Up Enforcement Against Decommissioned School Buses
  3. MTO Now Allows Canadian Military Driver's Permit to be Exchanged for Some Ontario Driver Licence Classes
  4. School Bus Driver Ear Buds and Headphones
  5. Magazine Articles Wanted
  6. Upcoming Events
Temporary HOV Lanes Can Be Used By Any Bus

During the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, on some routes in the GTHA one lane will be converted to a temporary HOV lane. Temporary HOV lanes will operate from 5 am to 11 pm and will be marked with pavement markings and signs. A government website lists the following vehicles as being eligible to use the temporary HOV lanes:
  • Accredited games vehicles used to transport athletes, media, officials, etc.
  • Motor vehicles with 3 or more occupants from June 29 through July 27
  • Motor vehicles with 2 or more occupants from July 28 through August 18
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Public transit
  • Licenced taxis
  • Airport limousines (on provincial highways only)
  • Electric vehicles and green vehicles (on provincial highways only)
As it wasn’t clear to OSBA if buses that are not “public transit” or buses that are travelling empty or have no games affiliation can use the temporary HOV lanes, we contacted the Ministry’s Traffic Office in St. Catharines.  OSBA was told that any bus, even empty buses and buses with no games affiliation are permitted to use the temporary HOV lanes.
MTO and Police Expected to Step Up Enforcement Against Decommissioned School Buses That Have Not Been Painted Another Colour

On June 2, 2015, an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) closed a long-standing loophole that prevented enforcement of the law that says no bus other than a school bus can be chrome yellow in colour. This law has been on the books for several decades, however, MTO and police did not enforce it, because a defendant simply had to tell the court that they carried at least one  person under 18 years of age on the bus once a year.  With the amendment now in place, expect to see police and MTO officers confronting operators of decommissioned school buses (i.e. the signs, warning lights and stop arm are removed) that are still showing any chrome yellow paint. Those operators will have to paint the bus (in whole) another colour. A conviction carries 2 or 3 CVOR points, depending on which section of the Act the charge is laid under.  In the case of the sale of a decommissioned school bus, the seller does not have to paint the bus prior to transfer of ownership – the onus is on the new operator to comply with the Act.
MTO Now Allows Canadian Military Driver's Permit to be Exchanged for Some Ontario Driver Licence Classes

Ontario is making it easier for Canadian military personnel and veterans to exchange their military driver's licence for a number of Ontario driver's licences.  Starting July 1, Department of National Defence (DND) 404 military driver's permits will become recognized equivalents for a number of Ontario commercial and passenger licences including a Class “C” Ontario driver licence. The change comes after the province completed an extensive review of DND licencing standards, which showed that military training and testing requirements meet or exceed Ontario's licence testing standards.  The DND 404 driver’s permit cannot be exchanged for a Class B or E (school bus) licence.    

MTO will waive knowledge and road tests for those with a DND 404 driver's permit, but will still require applicants to complete a vision test, meet medical standards, satisfy identification requirements and pay a fee.
School Bus Driver Ear Buds and Headphones

One of the topics addressed during OSBA’s most recent webinar (June 10th) was bus drivers wearing ear buds or headphones. Since the webinar, another case of a school bus driver wearing earbuds (allegedly) was reported by a member of the public to OSBA. As mentioned during the webinar, it is not against the law in Ontario for school bus drivers (or any driver for that matter) to wear ear buds or headphones, however, these devices can affect a driver’s concentration and reduce a driver’s ability to hear emergency vehicles, other vehicles, a child in distress, trains at level crossings, mechanical defects, etc. Bus drivers have the highest standard for hearing of all licence classes and it only makes sense that their hearing should not be compromised in any way. Bus operators should consider establishing company policy to prohibit the use of these devices while driving.
Magazine Articles Wanted

The annual magazine published by the Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) entitled “School Bus Ontario” is currently in production. The magazine is distributed to key decision makers involved in Ontario primary and secondary schools, school bus service provider/contractor companies, school boards/transportation consortia, Directors of Education, transportation officers, school board trustees, government, MPP’s, home and school associations, and supplier/manufacturers across Ontario (6,000 in total).
 
We are looking for your input and assistance on two fronts:
1.     Do you have any topics/suggestions for articles?
2.     Do you have any interesting or innovative media releases, stories or articles that you have already developed/published internally that you would like to share with the Ontario school bus industry?
If you would like to submit an article, we would kindly appreciate your attention to the following guidelines:
  • Number of Words: Not more than 150.
  • Submission deadline: July 15, 2015
  • Submit to: Donna Shepherd – dshepherd@osba.on.ca
  • Article Content: A description of any existing or new concept or service that provides thought-provoking ideas, solutions and/or innovative developments for the school bus industry.  This is not a sales advertisement, but rather a chance to highlight/promote events or happenings in your own organization that may be interesting for the entire Ontario school bus industry.
Magazine advertising space is available to promote company services and products.  If you would like to place an advertisement, please contact our magazine publisher Naylor (Canada) Inc. as follows:

       Kim Davies
       Project Manager
       800.665.2456 Ext. 4423
       Direct: 204.975.0423

       kdavies@naylor.com | www.naylor.com
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
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
SUBMISSIONS WELCOME
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.