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.  
October 14, 2015 - Issue 21

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Driver Certification Program (DCP) "Attestation Letters" are Due November 1st
  2. School Bus Driver Appreciation at Sudbury Student Services Consortium
  3. Buster the Bus Visits Thames Valley District School Board
  4. OASBO Annual Pupil Transportation Conference Coming Soon!
  5. OSBA Member Webinar - October 21
  6. School Bus Safety Week and School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
  7. Credit Valley Conservation Area Fall Colour Bus Trips
  8. DOT Doubles Grant Funds To Train Veterans As Bus and Truck Drivers
  9. Extended Stop Arm Pilot Program Shows Fewer Violations
  10. Upcoming Events
Reminder: Driver Certification Program (DCP) "Attestation Letters" are Due November 1st

This is a reminder to Recognized Authorities under the MTO’s DCP Program that “Attestation Letters” must be submitted (uploaded to the DCP system) by November 1, 2015.  These forms are mandatory and attest to the fact that the RA is continuing to deliver the DCP program as set out under the contract and policy.  These forms provide assurance to MTO that the program is being carried out in full compliance until the next audit cycle when the Specified Procedures Inspection Report comes due on July 15, 2016.  The attestation form can be found here.  If RA’s would like any further information, contact the DCP office at 416-235-4323 or
School Bus Driver Appreciation at Sudbury Student Services Consortium

The Sudbury Student Services Consortium wanted to do something a little different this year for school bus driver appreciation day.  They have partnered up with two local radio stations, A&W and their school bus operators to participate in a contest to nominate a child's favourite driver.  The public is asked to go to Q92 and Kiss 105.3 FM's websites and enter their favourite bus driver for a chance to win a $100 A&W gift certificate.

The two favourite drivers will be announced on October 21 at the A&W restaurant in Sudbury, where all drivers are invited to join the Sudbury Student Services Consortium, Q92, KISS 105.3 and A&W staff for a free A&W breakfast.  The two drivers will also be receiving prizes!

Buster the Bus Visits Thames Valley District School Board

Buster the Bus visited the Thames Valley District School Board (London, Ontario) meeting October 13, 2015. He's gearing up for this years School Bus Safety Week!  Send your initiatives and activities for School Bus Safety Week 2015 to OSBA at

OASBO Annual Pupil Transportation Conference Coming Soon!

Oct. 28-30, 2015 at the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ontario will host the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) annual pupil transportation conference including supplier trade show.  Program details, registration and accommodation information can be found at the following link:
Educational breakout sessions include: 
  • Save the Child…Not the Chair
  • School Buses and Railway Crossings
  • Special Needs Behaviour/Tools on the Bus
  • Police Checks
  • Diesel Fuel Management – Prevent Diesel Fuel Issues in Cold Weather
  • School Bus 8 Light System – Coming to Ontario
  • Recent Changes to D250 Standards & Current experience in MTO School Bus Inspections
  • Safety Programs for Kindergarten Transportation
  • Cameras on School Buses – Are They Effective?
  • Crisis Management (Part I) – School Bus Take Over – Safety Must Be Our #1 Priority
  • No Carry On Baggage Allowed
  • Transporting to Multiple Addresses Based on Family Status
  • Operator‐Consortium Partnerships – Continuous Improvement from Actionable Data
  • AODA – Sharing and Protecting Confidential Student Health Information and the Individual Student Plan
  • Crisis Management (Part 2) – School Bus Take Over – Safety Must Be Our #1 Priority
  • GPS/AVL Experience – Early Days to Now
  • Inclement Weather
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Strobe Lights
  • Tracking Students & WIFI on School Buses
  • Bullying on School Buses
  • Child Check – Best Practices
  • Achieving Loading Zone Peace
  • Communicating in a Crisis
  • Transporting Special Needs and Medically At‐Risk Students
Thanks to event sponsors:
        Girardin Blue Bird – Platinum
        First Student Canada – Silver
        Voyageur Transportation – Bronze
        Force Multiplier Solutions - Bronze

For more information:  Ljiljana Allgeier
Reminder: OSBA Member Webinar - October 21

If you haven’t already registered for the upcoming OSBA Oct. 21 webinar, please click here to do so. 

The following topics will be presented by OSBA Safety and Legislative Consultant Dave Carroll:
  1. Drivers Take Note: New Road Safety Rules in Effect September 1, 2015
  2. School Bus Markings, Lettering, Added Colour, Logos, etc.
  3. How Do I Know which Version of the CSA D250 Standard Applies to My School Bus?
  4. Driver Hours of Service – Record Keeping Requirements for “local drivers”
  5. The School Bus Stop Arm – The Sign with No Legal Status
  6. The Ill-advised Practice of Lane Blocking to Deter Blow-By’s
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.  Only 45 minutes of time is all that’s needed to remain up-to-date on significant student transportation issues – REGISTER TODAY!
School Bus Safety Week and School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

October 19-23, 2015 is School Bus Safety Week - a special opportunity for media, parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus companies, school boards/transportation consortia, and many others - to come together and reinforce the importance of student transportation and school bus safety. “Be Smart. Be Seen. I wait in a Safe Place.” is this year’s OSBA theme (adopted from NAPT) to help remind everyone to take special care and caution around yellow school buses and support the ongoing commitment of keeping all children safe. THE ABOVE POSTER IS COMING TO YOU SOON – please place in driver areas and any other location you think appropriate!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Please show your thanks to professional school bus drivers everywhere, with a simple wave, a thank you or maybe even a cup of coffee. They embrace a tremendous responsibility to ensure kids remain protected and out of harm’s way each and every day.
Credit Valley Conservation Area Fall Colour Bus Trips

OSBA has received the attached information from the Credit Valley Conservation Area with respect to bus trips for Fall Colour tours. 

At this time of year their parks are very busy and they get many requests for tour bus visits.  The attached explains their policies for bus visits to conservation areas. Their fall parks policy should be considered by anyone planning a bus tour or school visit to their parks during the month of October.
DOT Doubles Grant Funds To Train Veterans As Bus and Truck Drivers

Written By: Student Transportation News (STN)
Article Date: October 13, 2015

In an effort to bring veterans back into the civilian workforce, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided $2.3 million in grants to 13 technical and community colleges nationwide to help train veterans for jobs as bus and truck drivers.

The money will be spread over 13 educational institutions across the country that provide truck driver training for hundreds of new students.

This U.S. Department of Transportation funding, which is double what it was last year, is provided through the FMCSA Commercial Motor Vehicle-Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.

“We doubled the amount we have previously provided through this grant program because of the important role qualified commercial truck and bus drivers hold in moving our economy forward,” said Scott Darling, acting administrator for FMCSA. 

According to Duane DeBruyne, deputy director of communications for FMCSA, the grant program set the goals of expanding the number of CDL holders possessing enhanced safety training to reduce the number and severity of crashes involving buses and large trucks, along with assisting veterans, including National Guard members, reservists and spouses to transition into these roles.

“Across all the commercial driving sectors, and certainly including school bus operations, qualified, well trained drivers are always needed,” said DeBruyne. 

The schools that were tapped for funding include accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, as well as federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx reported that one of the fastest growing employment markets is for qualified commercial vehicle drivers, which Foxx considered “one of the most important.”

“We support job opportunities for veterans who have served our country, but not only because it is the right thing to do, it also makes good sense. Veterans bring invaluable experience to the industry and can enter the workforce quickly,” said Foxx.
Extended Stop Arm Pilot Program Shows Fewer Violations

Written By: Student Transportation News (STN)
Article Date: October 5, 2015

The counties of Cabell, Greenbrier and Kanawha in West Virginia recently completed a pilot program involving extended school bus stop arms in order to determine whether these showed a decrease in the illegal passing of stopped school buses.

Extended stop arms include two types of stop signs: The one seen in routine stop arms and another that extends out six feet from the school bus.

At the conclusion of the pilot program, Cabell County reported a 35 percent decrease in stop-arm violations, while Greenbrier County reported a 60 percent decrease and Kanawha reported a 50 percent decrease.

Although the results of the program seem promising, Mike Pickens, executive director of the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Office of School Transportation, said education and awareness of illegal passing laws are very important.

“While we are encouraged by the reduction in passing violations, we also know there is education to be done among our drivers [motorists],” he said. “Although we saw improvement, Kanawha County reported the stop signs had been hit by drivers [motorists] six times since the pilot began in August.”

To address this, the West Virginia Department of Education is partnering with West Virginia Division of Highways and the West Virginia State Police to help educate the public on these laws.

The WVDE has been working closely with Bus Safety Solutions Inc., the vendor of the extended stop arm, to address minor mechanical issues raised by bus drivers during the pilot program, such as increasing bolt size and adding reflective tape. The company will correct the issues within 60 days. After this time, the repairs will be evaluated and WVDE said in a statement that it anticipates adding the product as an option in its specifications list so all counties may purchase these for their fleets if they choose. 
Upcoming Events

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