Ontario School Bus Safe Driving Championships rewards safe drivers



    HAMILTON, ON, June 11 /CNW/ - Top drivers from school bus operators
across Ontario represented their companies at the Ontario School Bus Safe
Driving Championship in Hamilton, Ontario, driving home the message that
school buses are the safest vehicle on the road today.
    "Safety is who we are and what we do," says Stan Sinton, President of the
Ontario School Bus Association. "As school bus operators, we know school buses
are the safest transportation option for our children because of our
highly-trained drivers, the construction and design of the bus and because of
our shared mission to safely and reliably transport 800,000 children to and
from school every day."
    Transport Canada research shows, on a per passenger, per kilometre basis,
that people on school buses are 16 times less likely to be injured in road
collisions than the occupants of any other vehicles.
    Hosted by the Ontario School Bus Association and industry partners, the
annual competition involved 79 participants competing in written and driving
tests in both 20-passenger and 72 passenger categories. Participants were
initially selected through local one-off competitions within their own
companies and sent to compete at the Ontario School Bus Safe Driving
Championship. At the event, participants were required to demonstrate their
driving skills and safety knowledge for a panel of industry judges.
    Abdur Muhammad of Stock Transportation (Scarborough branch) won the
20-passenger category driving competition. Adam Koziol of Laidlaw Education
Services (Mississauga branch) won in the 72-passenger category and was also
presented with the event's most coveted reward, the Minister of
Transportation's Trophy. Both Muhammad and Koziol will go on to compete at the
International Safe Driving Championship in Boston, Massachusetts in July 2007.
The Esprit de Corps Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points, was
awarded to Laidlaw Educational Services.
    Every day, 18,000 school buses in Ontario travel 2 million kilometers
carrying 800,000 students. The daily distance traveled is equal to driving
around the earth 50 times or, the daily distance traveled is over 5 times the
distance from earth to the moon. That equates to 300 million safe rides each
school year.
    Three key factors make school buses the best and safest transportation
option for students:

    1.  The school bus is built for safety and operators ensure that their
        buses meet or exceed each of the 37 safety standards set by Transport

    2.  School bus drivers meet stringent training and performance standards
        and serve as care-givers to our kids every day.

    3.  School bus operators make it our mission to safely and reliably
        transport some 800,000 children to and from school each day in large
        and small communities across Ontario.

    School bus drivers are trained as rigorously as other commercial drivers
on the road today. In fact, school bus drivers, given the precious cargo they
transport, have to meet many special requirements above and beyond those met
by other professional drivers.

    The Ontario School Bus Association:

    The Ontario School Bus Association, OSBA, is the voice of the operators
who make it their mission to safely and reliably transport 800,000 Ontario
children to and from school each day. For more information on school bus
safety in Ontario, visit www.osba.on.ca.

    Industry Spokespersons:

    Stan Sinton, OSBA President and President of Sinton Transportation,

    John Sharp, OSBA VP and VP of Sharp Bus Lines, Brantford

    Angus McKay, OSBA Treasurer and VP Elliott Coach Lines, Fergus and Guelph

    Rob Proctor, OSBA past President and Director of Business Development,
    Laidlaw Education Services, Burlington

For further information:

For further information: or to set up an interview, please contact:
Richard Donaldson, OSBA, Work: (416) 695-9965, Cell: (416) 520-1805,
rdonaldson@osba.on.ca; Christine Mulkins, Publicist, Work: (416) 652-2544,
Cell: (647) 242-3686, cmulkins@rogers.com

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