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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 across Ontario.  September 9, 2014 - Issue 15

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OSBA Enhanced Supplier Partner Member:
Inside this Edition:
  • A Win for the School Bus Industry and OSBA
  • Fuel Being Stolen From Bus Operators
  • OMCA's Driver Licence Status Check Results
  • 2015 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates Now Scheduled
  • Downtown Toronto - York Street Closure
  • October P.R.I.D.E. Program Sold Out
  • Upcoming Events
A Win for the School Bus Industry and OSBA 
When Regulation 199 (Daily Vehicle Inspections) came into effect in 2007 introducing the schedule of "major" and "minor" defects, school bus operators have been burdened by the fact that an inoperative red overhead warning lamp or stop arm lamp is a "major defect" meaning the bus can't be driven.  When drivers detect a "major defect" the law requires them to report it in the inspection book and cease operation of the bus.  It can't even be driven empty to a place of repair.  For years, OSBA has been asking MTO to amend Schedule 5 in the regulation to make an inoperative warning lamp or stop arm lamp a "minor" defect when the school bus is being driven on a trip that will not require the use of these lamps.  This would allow a driver who detects a failed warning or stop arm lamp during a daily inspection to drive the bus to a repair location.  Also, it would permit the continued operation of the school bus with passengers on board, provided the bus does not make a roadway stop to load or unload children which would require the use of these lamps.  We were pleased to see last week that the amendment we requested is included in a set of regulatory changes posted for public comment on Ontario's Regulatory Registry.  We expect the proposal to go forward after the comment period closes in late October.  We will provide updates in future editions of this newsletter.
Fuel Being Stolen From Bus Operators
Two weeks ago 16,000 litres of diesel fuel was stolen from a major bus operator in their Toronto west location.  On Sept. 8/14, a large amount of fuel was stolen from another large operator from their Etobicoke yard.  Over this past summer, large amounts of fuel were also stolen from a Scarborough yard on two occasions.  It is estimated that more than $100,000 in fuel has been stolen.  The thieves are moving buses out of the way by cutting the shift cables, then cutting locks on the tank fill pipes and extracting the fuel out of the tanks.

To local authorities, this appears to be the work of a highly organized group of determined thieves.  It is suggested that bus operators do whatever possible to safeguard yards and lock down fuel tanks in a very secure manner.  The more difficult for thieves by protecting your premises, the higher likelihood of these thieves being caught.  If you hear of anything suspicious or suspect something is taking place at your location, contact your local police department and do not attempt to confront these individuals.  It is also suggested that you make all of your employees aware that this type of crime could happen at your facility.
2015 P.R.I.D.E. Program Dates Now Scheduled
Plan and budget now to send your trainers to a 2015 Professional Instructor in Driver Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program - dates are as follows:
  • January 11-16
  • March 15-20 (March Break)
  • May 24-29
  • July 12-17
  • August 9-14
  • October 18-23
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Twelve spots are available at each program.  Space can be temporarily reserved with a registration form or enrolment guaranteed with a registration form including payment.  2015 registration forms will be available soon or feel free to complete a 2014 form and make a special note of the 2015 date. For more information - please visit www.osba.on.ca/programs or contact info@osba.on.ca
October P.R.I.D.E. Program Sold Out
A very high demand for the Oct. 19-24 P.R.I.D.E. Program this year has it completely filled at this time.  A waiting list has been started.  The next regularly scheduled program is January 11-16, 2015.  If you are interested in attending a Fall program e.g. in November or early December 2014, please let us know. If enough registration forms are received (minimum 11), the P.R.I.D.E. Program would be pleased to try and put on an additional program.  For more information, please click on the following link: www.osba.on.ca/programs or send an email to info@osba.on.ca
 
OMCA's Driver Licence Status Check Detects Hundreds of Downgraded and Invalid Licences
Last Tuesday, OMCA conducted the 3rd licence status check of the year.  The licence status for 48,300 drivers (our largest number ever) was checked against the MTO driver database and a report was provided to each subscriber identifying drivers with a licence discrepancy.  Subscribers could then contact drivers whose licences have been downgraded or suspended to pre empt any possibility of a driver getting involved in an accident or incident while holding an improper or suspended licence.  As with past status checks (this was our 23rd quarterly check) many subscribers were surprised by their results, thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened.  The status check report also flags drivers having a "Code W" medical condition that prohibits them from driving a bus or truck in the USA.  The next Quarterly Status Check will be Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Downtown Toronto - York Street Closure
A temporary closure of downtown Toronto's York Street between Harbour Street and Queens Quay will occur from September 15 to October 3, 2014.  This temporary street closure is required to connect the newly installed storm water infrastructure on Queens Quay to the existing infrastructure on York Street. Here's what to expect: 

Traffic: There will be no northbound or southbound access to/from Queens Quay from York Street.  Westbound traffic on Queens Quay will continue through the intersection.

Pedestrians: All Sidewalks and crosswalks on York and at the York/Queens Quay intersection will remain open.

Bus Parking layby: The York Street layby will not be accessible during this closure.  The two new laybys located at 208 and 218 Queens Quay will be available for short-term loading and unloading.

York Street will re-open as soon as this construction is complete. The expected completion date is October 2.
 
Upcoming Events
 
OSBA Webinar
Oct. 15
National School Safety Week
Canada Safety Council (CSC)

Oct. 17-23
P.R.I.D.E. Program

Oct. 19-24
School Bus Safety Week
Oct. 20-24
School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Oct. 22
OSBA Webinar 
Dec. 10

Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) 
Apr. 12-15, 2015
Copyright © 2014 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.