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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.  
June 8, 2016 - Issue 12

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Inside this Edition:
  1. Check Your Buses for Faded Warning Lamps
  2. Province Passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act
  3. Register NOW for August P.R.I.D.E. Program - July 10-15 Sold Out
  4. New York Stop Arm Survey Estimates Nearly 37K Violations Statewide
  5. "Driver Licence Status Check" Continues to Help Bus Companies Protect Against Downgraded and Invalid Licences
  6. Stop Arm Camera Testing in Waterloo Region
  7. NSTA School Bus Driver International Safety Competition Registration Now Open
  8. Upcoming 2016 Events
Check Your Buses for Faded Warning Lamps

Bus operators, police and MTO are noticing an increase in number of school buses with badly faded alternating warning lamps. The lamps have turned from their original red colour to almost amber over time. The problem has been particularly noticeable on some 2006 – 2009 IC’s. Operators should check their buses to ensure the warning lamps are in fact still red.  School buses cannot be safety’d (annual or semi-annual) unless lamps are red (reference Reg. 611). Also, a warning lamp that is not red is a prescribed defect in Schedule 5 – Daily Vehicle Inspection (Reg. 199/07).  Other traffic does not have to stop for a school bus when the overhead warning lamps are not red in colour (HTA 175 (11) (12) which is a risk to student safety, unfair to motorists, and complicates enforcement.
 
Province Passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act
News Release by:  Ministry of Finance
Release Date:  June 2, 2016

Ontario is expanding pension coverage to over four million workers without an adequate workplace pension plan.
 
On June 2, 2016 the province passed the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016.  The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) will bring financial security and drive economic growth for generations to come, by providing Ontario workers with a predictable stream of income in retirement, paid for life.  The ORPP will also offer a survivor benefit for all plan members.
 
Along with regulations expected this summer, the legislation gives employers and employees the information they need to prepare for the launch of the ORPP.  This is a crucial step forward in fulfilling the government's commitment that every eligible employee is part of the ORPP or a comparable workplace pension plan by 2020.
 
Strengthening the retirement income system is critical to the future prosperity of the province.  Studies show that many of today's workers are not saving enough to maintain their standard of living in retirement.  Pension coverage is also low for many Ontarians, with only one in four younger workers -- aged 25 to 34 -- participating in a workplace pension plan.
 
Building a secure retirement savings plan is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.  The four-part plan includes investing in talents and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education.  The plan is also making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented business. 
 
QUICK FACTS
The ORPP will offer a predictable, reliable and inflation-indexed stream of income in retirement, paid for life, by providing a pension of up to 15 per cent of an individual’s pre-retirement income. Employees and employers would contribute an equal amount, capped at 1.9 per cent each on an employee’s annual earnings up to $90,000.
 
A
cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Conference Board of Canada found that over the long-term, the ORPP will add billions to Ontario’s economy.

Since 2014, the government has consulted extensively on the design of the ORPP with the business community, labour, academia, non-profits and Ontario workers, including holding public consultations in more than 10 communities across the province. Over 1000 responses were also submitted online and by mail.
 
Ontario looks forward to participating in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Finance Ministers Meeting on June 20 in Vancouver. Ontario supports CPP enhancement. Ontario is open to exploring a range of potential CPP enhancements for a national solution to strengthening retirement security as long as it is targeted to those who need it most and provides substantial earnings replacement benefits in retirement.
 
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:  
Details of Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2016
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan
 
CONTACTS:
For Media Inquiries only:
Kelsey Ingram, Minister’s Office, 416-326-1409
Clancy Zeifman, Associate Minister’s Office, 416-325-3749
Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, 416-325-0324
Ministry of Finance: 
http://www.ontario.ca/finance

 
Register NOW for August P.R.I.D.E. Program - July 10-15 Sold Out

The July 10-15 P.R.I.D.E. Program is sold out and the August 7-12 program is filling up quickly.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Program location: Admiral Inn Burlington.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information – info@osba.on.ca 
 
New York Stop Arm Survey Estimates Nearly 37K Violations Statewide

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) has released the results of a survey taken on May 18, 2016 to measure the incidence of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, and estimates that nearly 37,000 violations occurred statewide that day.
 
This is the highest number of estimated violations since October 2015, when the association began conducting the monthly survey.
 
In the 74 school districts that participated, 2,001 school bus drivers reported they were passed a total of 1,480 times, including 61 passes on the right side of the school bus.
 
At that rate of passing, when applied to over 50,000 school buses in New York state, the total estimated illegal passing rate is 36,857 passes for that day. That same calculation would mean that, of that amount, 1,479 motorists passed school buses on the right side of the bus on that day.
 
Since October 2015, the survey results have been:
  • October 2015:  19,129
  • November 2015:  30,735
  • December 2015:  32,456
  • January 2016:  23,841
  • February 2016:  34,871
  • March 2016:  25,250
  • April 2016:  33,128
  • May 2016:  36,857
 “We are seriously alarmed at these high levels of illegal passing,” said NYAPT President David Adam. “These numbers mean that some 37,000 motorists disregarded the law and showed a disregard for the lives of our children. The fact that we had nearly 37,000 passes on one day is not only totally unacceptable; it is, quite frankly, frightening.”
 
NYAPT went to Albany, New York, on Tuesday to advocate for passage of legislation that will allow cameras to be mounted on school buses and the evidence from those cameras to be used to prosecute motorists who pass stopped school buses illegally. NYAPT believes there is significant support for that legislation (S3509C-Sen. Catharine Young and A1520C-Assemblyman William Magnarelli) and that it would pass in both houses if it came to a vote.
 
“This is a time for action. We need to pass legislation — this year — that will help us apprehend and ticket motorists who blow by red lights in ignorance, distraction or indifference,” said NYAPT Executive Director Peter Mannella. “It’s time New Yorkers lined up in support of safety for our children. Stop for the school bus. It’s all for the safety of our children.”
"Driver Licence Status Check" Continues to Help Bus Companies Protect Against Downgraded and Invalid Licences 

The second quarterly licence status check for year 2016 was done on Wednesday May 25th.  The driver licence status for 48,600 drivers was checked against the Ministry of Transportation (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 many subscribers were surprised by their results, thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened.  The status check report also flags drivers with a “Code W” medical condition that prohibits them from driving a bus or truck in the USA.  The next Quarterly Status Check will be Thursday August 25th. To subscribe to this service, go to:  Driver Licence Status Check.
Stop Arm Camera Testing in Waterloo Region 
Article By:  Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) Website
Article Date:  April 29, 2016

For many years, Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) has received complaints from school bus drivers, parents and schools about the persistent problem of vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses.  This practice unnecessarily puts students in harm’s way.  In order to proactively tackle this serious child safety issue, STSWR enlisted Force Multiplier Solutions Canada, to launch a pilot to measure the frequency of these traffic violations on the streets of Waterloo Region.  Using the FxS BusGuard Technology platform (
www.fxsinc.com), the pilot will gather and analyze video evidence of school bus stop arm violations beginning Monday May 2nd, 2016 with six school buses.  The pilot will continue until the end of the school year and the data gathered during this pilot will be shared with Regional Police, the Region of Waterloo and both Catholic and Public School boards.  No tickets will be issued during the pilot, but the data collected will be used to help demonstrate how the use of technology can enable a more convenient and effective method of enforcement, ultimately increasing safety for the children of Waterloo Region.  Questions about the stop arm camera pilot should be directed to:  Benoit Bourgault, STSWR, 519 650 4934 ext 222, benoit_bourgault@stswr.ca

 
NSTA School Bus Driver International Safety Competition Registration Now Open

The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) 2016 School Bus Driver International Safety Competition will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina July 16 and 17.  For any contestant or contestants wishing to participate, NSTA must receive information detailing the date and location of the state or provincial competition event, as well as the public sector winners in each school bus class and the top private sector winners in each school bus class from the state or provincial competition event.  Drivers cannot be approved for the 2016 School Bus Driver International Safety Competition until this documentation is submitted. Please click here for registration and hotel information.  For further information, please contact Jennifer Hickey Bruce at jennifer@jenniferbruce.us or the NSTA Office at info@yellowbuses.org.
 
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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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